Platforms for Quantum Technologies

14756.2033 Platforms for Quantum Technologies

Date: March 16-27, 2020 (Mon-Fri), 9:00-17:00 (block course)

Location: Due to the Corona situation, the course takes place via video stream only. All registered participants have received detailed information via e-mail. In case you have any questions, please contact ml4q-office[at]

Exam: June 5, 2020, 12:00 (Cologne). Please note that this is a tentative date! Since it is unclear what the situation will look like by then and whether regular (offline) exams will be an option at all, a later date (or even an alternative exam format) are still valid options.

Lecturers: Y. Ando (UoC), H. Bluhm (RWTH), S. Diehl (UoC), M. Köhl (U Bonn), M. Müller (FZJ)

Contents of the course

  • Basics of quantum information processing: qubits, quantum operations, measurements, circuit model, quantum teleportation, Deutsch and Grover algorithms, quantum error correction
  • AMO (atomic, molecular, optical) platforms: cavity quantum electrodynamics: single photon sources, implementation of phase gates; quantum simulators: gases of cold atoms, optical lattices, ground state and excitation dynamics
  • Solid state platforms: charge and electron spin qubits; superconducting qubits; qubit dynamics and control; decoherence; quantum supremacy
  • Topological platforms: topological insulators and superconductors; braiding; Majorana qubit design; topological surface code

Aims of the course

Recently, elusive concepts of quantum mechanics such as superposition and entanglement – which have long been regarded as curiosities of quantum mechanics with no practical purposes – have become the key elements of several technological applications. These fledgling quantum technologies define a new field of physics and engineering, and may  be roughly structured into quantum communication, quantum sensing, quantum simulations, and, last but not least, quantum computing. This lecture will give an overview of the most promising platforms and first applications, following up on a crisp introduction to the basic theoretical concepts needed for their understanding. The course is organized in the framework of the Cluster of Excellence Matter and Light for Quantum Computing (ML4Q). It is aimed at Master students in Physics with a knowledge in quantum mechanics and basic knowledge of condensed matter physics.

Detailed schedule of the course

(last updated: Mar. 23, 2020)

Lecture notes and presentations

The lecture notes of the course will be made available here. Please note that the pdfs with the whiteboard contents of the lectures are available on the internal page.


Lecture notes

Exercise sessions

The exercise sessions take place via livestream and/or chat, additional details are regularly announced via e-mail. The tutors for the course are:



  • Mariami Gachechiladze (mgachech[at]
  • Lukas Franken (lfranken[at]
  • Felipe Montealegre-Mora (fmonteal[at]


  • Jens Samland (samland[at]


  • Anand Sharma (sharma[at]
  • René Otten (rene.otten[at]
  • Jan Werner Josef Klos (jan.klos[at]


  • Jakob Schluck (schluck[at]
  • Pedro Parrado (pedro.parrado[at]
  • Fernando Martinez (fernando.martinez[at]

The exercise sheets are collected here. Please note that the solutions are available on the internal website.

M1: Basics of quantum information processing

M2: AMO platforms

M3: Solid-state platforms

M4: Topological platforms

Recommended literature

Michael Nielsen and Isaac Chuang, Quantum Computation and Quantum Information (Cambridge University press, 2010).

Hendrik Bluhm, Thomas Brückel, Markus Morgenstern, Gero Plessen, and Christoph Stampfer, Electrons in Solids: Mesoscopics, Photonics, Quantum Computing, Correlations, Topology (Chapter 3) (De Gruyter, 2019).

M. Sato and Y. Ando, Topological superconductors: a review, Rep. Prog. Phys. 80, 076501 (2017).

J. Alicea, New directions in the pursuit of Majorana fermions in solid state systems, Rep. Prog. Phys. 75, 076501 (2012).