Single-electron electronics and quantum optics with flying electrons

Research Topic

Quantum optics is a field of research that uses quantum-mechanical physics to investigate phenomena involving light and its interactions with matter. In contrast to photons electrons are strongly interacting particles. This difference makes quantum optics with flying electrons attractive. This project will explore SAW-driven electrons propagating in a channel as an analogue to photonic quantum optics experiments in waveguides.


The first goal to use the acoustic transport of single electrons to demonstrate coherent beam splitter operation and to investigate collision experiments. This requires the development of all the basic elements needed to realise quantum-optics experiments with flying electrons such as beam splitters, phase control and controlled interaction. This can be achieved by bringing two SAW channels together and tunnel-coupling them over a distance of several microns. One can also exploit the Coulomb interaction to control the phase of a single electron on the fly. Putting all these blocks together should allow the realisation of highly controlled single-electron collision and interference experiments.


Hermann Edlbauer

Host: Neel Institut (CNRS)

Scientific Background

I’ve studied applied physics at Graz University of Technology in my native country Austria. During that time my research was focused on solid state physics, computational physics and organic electronics. For my Master’s thesis at the local Institute of Solid State Physics I performed large-scale density functional theory simulations to investigate how successive hydrogenation of acenequinone molecules adsorbed on coinage metal surfaces affects the work function and the electron potential distribution.