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Martin Leijnse

Position:    Associate Professor (Docent, Lektor)

Cell phone:   
Address:    Box 118
221 00 Lund

University:    Lund University
Division:    Solid State Physics
Research Area(s):    Quantum Physics
Nanoelectronics- & photonics
Interests:    Mesoscopic physics. Majorana fermions, quantum computation, quantum transport, thermoelectrics


Commissions of trust

  • Member of the Young Academy of Sweden.
  • Member of the NanoLund management group and coordinator for education.
  • Board member, RIFO (riksdagsledamöter och forskare).
  • Faculty member of the Solid State Physics Division. 
  • External faculty member of the Center for Quantum Devices, University of Copenhagen.


I am a theoretical condensed matter physicist primarily interested in nanoscale systems. On such small length scales, the physics is drastically different from what we know in our all-day life and is dominated by the laws of quantum mechanics. I investigate different ways of taking advantage of quantum mechanics to design for example electronic components with desirable properties. Specific research topics include: 
Superconducting proximity effect and Majorana fermions. When a superconductor is tunnel coupled to for example a semiconductor, tunneling of Cooper pairs leads to proximity-induced superconductivity in the semiconductor. I am interested in how this can be used to engineer superconductors with new exciting properties, such as topological superconductors hosting so-called Majorana fermion excitations. I am also studying how Majoranas can best be used for quantum information processing. In addition, I investigate how superconductors can be used to mediate a long-distance coupling between other quantum systems, for example spin qubits defined in nanowires. 
Quantum transport in nanostructures. Using primarily quantum master equation approaches, I study nonequilibrium transport in strongly interacting nanostructures, such as quantum dots, nanowires, and single-molecule devices. One goal is to understand how quantum transport can be used to extract spectroscopic information about a nanoscale system. Another goal is to propose devices where a combination of interaction and quantum mechanical effects give rise to some desired functionality, such as spin-polarized currents, negative differential resistance, or rectification.
Heat transport and thermoelectric devices. The thermoelectric effect allows direct conversion of a heat gradient into an electric current or voltage. I investigate the prospect of using the unique electronic properties of nanoscale devices to make highly efficient thermoelectric energy converters. Thermoelectic efficiency is reduced by losses from heat currents carried by phonons. Therefore, I investigate also phonon transport in nanosctructures, with the goal of designing devices where phonon transport is blocked without destroying the electronic transport properties. 

Research group

  • Rubén Seoane Souto (postdoc): Majorana bound states in topological superconductors.
  • Athanasios Tsintzis (PhD student): Theory of topological states in nanowires.
  • Florinda Viñas (PhD student): Theoretical studies of the electronic and quantum transport properties of core-shell nanowires and of quantum dots in such wires.
  • Martin Josefsson (PhD student): Theory of thermoelectrics in nanoscale systems.
  • Alice Herdenberg (MSc student): Thermoelectric transport in coupled interacting quantum dots.
  • Simon Wozny (MSc student): Quantum transport in topological insulators.
Co-supervisor for PhD students:
  • Timo Kerremans (main supervisor Peter Samuelsson): Theory of quantum thermodynamics.
  • Antti Ranni (main supervisor Ville Maisi): Experiments on hybrid superconductor-semiconductor systems.
  • Michael Hell (Postdoc, joint position with Copenhagen University): Superconductor-semiconductor hybrid structures and Majorana bound states.
  • Zeng-Zhao Li (Postdoc): Interaction effects in thermoelectric transport through parallel-coupled quantum dots and molecular monolayers.
  • Johan Ekström (MSc student): Majorana bound states in spatially inhomogeneous nanowires.
  • Georg Wolgast (MSc student): Simulations of qubits based on Majorana bound states.
  • John Lovén (MSc student): Theory of nanowire superlattices for thermoelectric energy conversion.
  • David Dai (MSc student): Coulomb drag physics in nanowire thermocouples.
  • Hossein Karbaschi (visiting PhD student for 6 months): theory of thermoelectrics in nanowires.
  • Elsa de Geer (BSc student): Diffusive thermoelectric transport in nanowires.

  • Chunlin Yu (as co-supervisor, main supervisor Hongqi Xu): Experimental studies of Majorana fermions and hybrid quantum devices with semiconductor nanowires coupled to superconductors.
  • Malin Nilsson (as co-supervisor, main supervisor Claes Thelander): Experimental studies of low-dimensional transport physics in semiconductor core-shell nanowires.
  • Bekmurat Dalelkham (main supervisor Hongqi Xu): Charge transport in III-V narrow bandgap semiconductor nanowires.


I currently teach the undergraduate course Elektroniska material (Electronic materials) and a PhD level course on Theory of superconductivity

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