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PhD project on information as fuel

Fundamental relations between information and energy – Building electronic devices that use information as fuel

Quantum dot structure to control movement of single electrons
Scanning electron micrograph of a quantum dot structure where the movement of single electrons can be controlled and detected. The movement of a single electron in the structure yields the elemental amount of energy of kT ln(2) related to a single bit of information at temperature T. Figure adapted from D. Barker et al, Appl. Phys. Lett. 114, 183502 (2019).


The research at the division of Solid State Physics focuses around different aspects of semiconductor physics, ranging from materials science to quantum physics, to different applications. The division also leads NanoLund, the major interdisciplinary research environment within nanoscience and nanotechnology at Lund University. Lund Nano Lab is a central key facility for fabrication of material and devices on the nanoscale. The division is also heavily involved in the undergraduate education, especially within the “Engineering Nanoscience” program.

NanoLund has long traditions in developing nanowire based single-electron devices. The development in the field has made it possible to move electrons in and out one by one in nano-sized electrical circuits. As the system size becomes this small, the traditional thermodynamic description with average quantities is not anymore sufficient. In addition, quantum effects such as the possibility of an electron being in two places simultaneously become important. In this regime fluctuations and the information content of the electrons play a key role in describing the physics of these systems. Our research group studies the single-electron structures experimentally to build new knowledge about the underlying physics and to develop and demonstrate new device concepts tapping into the fluctuations and quantum effects.

Project specification

Work duties

The research in this position will be based on the project “Information-to-work conversion from classical to quantum – a nanoscale electronic demon in double quantum dots”, supported by the Foundational Questions Institute under the call “Information as Fuel”. You will be performing experimental work to measure fundamental relations between information and energy. A particular focus is also on exploring the quantum regime of the semiconductor heterostructures. The work includes fabrication of the devices in the cleanroom environment, performing low-temperature experiments and analysing the measurement results. You may also contribute by developing electronics to control quantum systems. The PhD-candidate is expected to work independently, but in collaboration with other researchers in pursuing the above research goals in close collaboration between experiment and theory.

Information-to-work conversion from classical to quantum – a nanoscale electronic demon in double quantum dots - project description on the FQXI website

The main duties of doctoral students are to devote themselves to their research studies which includes participating in research projects and third cycle courses. The work duties can also include teaching and other departmental duties (no more than 20%).

The doctoral student is expected to work independently, as well as in close collaboration with researchers carrying out other tasks within the project.

Desirable skills

We expect that your undergraduate studies include courses in quantum and/or solid state physics. The research is to a large extent interdisciplinary, and a broad competence profile and experiences from relevant areas of physics, electronics and nanoscience are of special value. The ability for skilful laboratory work is essential, including experimental methods at low temperatures (below 100 mK) and experience in working in a clean-room environment. Experience in problem solving with analytical thinking and ability to perform numerical and analytical calculations is considered an advantage. Important personal qualities are, beside creativity and a curious mind, the ability to work both independently and in a group, eagerness towards tackling challenges and experience in the scientific interaction with researchers from other disciplines and in other countries.

Enrolment: Physics

Subject curriculum for physics at the Faculty of Engineering TEFAFF00 (pdf, 265kB, new window)


Ville Maisi, Assistant Professor at Solid State Physics

Ville Maisi's personal page including contact information

NanoLund website

Division of Solid State Physics website