NOTE: This is an old course page. Information about current courses can be found from here


Nanophysics is one of the most fascinating fields of modern-day physics. It combines both the fundamental research and the aim for useful applications. In nanoelectronic circuits quantum phenomena characteristic for microscopic systems show up in easily measurable quantities such as currents and voltages. This course gives the students an overview of the basic phenomena taking place in nanoelectronic circuits at low temperatures, including single-electron and phase-coherent effects, noise and dissipation, and discusses some of their applications ranging from nanoscale transistors to quantum computing.

This course will be lectured during the Fall term 2005. The first lecture is on 22.9.

The course amounts to 3 credit points (according to the old system).

Lecturer: Dr Tero Heikkilä

Assistant: Pauli Virtanen

Lectures: Thursdays 15.30-17.15 Hall F3 (Note the time!)

Exercises: Mondays 12-14 Hall F2 (starting Sep 26th)

The course will also contain an excursion to the experimental nanoelectronics research groups (nano and pico) at the Low Temperature Laboratory

Language: English if the number of non-Finnish speakers is non-vanishing. The lecture notes will be in English.

Passing: Whole-term exam + points from the exercises

The course is recommended for interested undergraduate and graduate students with basic knowledge on quantum mechanics and solid state physics (for example, have passed courses Tfy-44.126 and Tfy-3.362).

New: Response form
Click here to give anonymous response on the course. You will need the same account/password as for the lecture notes.


Note that the first exams take place on Thursday the 15th December at 9-12 in the Hall F1.
This was different in an earlier exam schedule.

Lecture notes:

Low Temperature laboratory excursion was held on Thursday 13th October, at 10 am.
Dr Juha Vartiainen was your guide.



Tentative schedule:

  1. General concepts
    Studied systems
    Energy, time and length scales
    When is Ohm's law valid and when it is not, how is it broken?

  2. Scattering theory of quantum transport
    Reservoirs, leads and scattering states
    Scattering matrix
    Landauer formula
    Resistance of a ballistic low-dimensional contact
    Connection to the Drude formula

  3. Interference effects in quantum wires
    Weak and strong localization
    Aharonov-Bohm effect
    Universal conductance fluctuations

  4. Semiclassical Boltzmann equation
    Distribution function and its kinetic equation
    Different forms of scattering
    Diffusive limit and Drude formula
    Thermoelectric effects

  5. Single-electron tunneling and Coulomb blockade
    Tunnel Hamiltonian and Anderson model
    Sequential tunneling
    Quantum dots
    Single-electron transistor SET
    Dynamical Coulomb blockade, effect of environment
    Higher-order effects: cotunneling, Kondo effect
    Applications: transistor, thermometer

  6. Introduction to superconductivity
    Basic concepts: dissipationless transport, pairing, energy gap
    Josephson effect
    Tunnel structures: quasiparticle current and supercurrent
    Andreev reflection and proximity effect

  7. Small Josephson junctions and open quantum systems
    RCSJ model
    Hamiltonian of a Josephson junction
    Superconducting SET
    Dissipation in quantum systems: Caldera-Leggett -model

  8. Noise I
    Fluctuation-dissipation theorem
    Thermal and quantum noise
    Shot noise: effective charge
    Noise in electric circuits
    Symmetrization and frequency dependence

  9. Noise II
    Effect of noise in small systems
    Cross correlations
    Full counting statistics

  10. Linear response theory (if time allows)
    Response functions
    Derivation of the fluctuation-dissipation theorem
    Connection to the measurement theory

  11. Advanced topics (if time allows)


Datta: Electron Transport in Mesoscopic Systems

T. Dittrich, P. Hänggi, G.-L. Ingold, B. Kramer, G. Schön, and W. Zwerger: Quantum Transport and Dissipation

Ya. A. Blanter and M. Büttiker: “Shot Noise in Mesoscopic Conductors”, Physics Reports 336, 1 (2000)

F. Giazotto, T. T. Heikkilä, A. Luukanen, A. M. Savin, and J. P. Pekola: “Electronic refrigeration: Physics and Applications

Last modified: Mon Dec 19 14:12:05 EET 2005