Currently 13 independent research groups work in the area of quantum sciences at our Department. There are strong synergies between four theory groups and eight experimental groups. The main areas of research are quantum computing, quantum measurements, spintronics and quantum magnonics, quantum sensing, quantum optics and cold atoms, topological properties of condensed matter systems, and quantum communication.
For example, in our department, we employ single spins in NV sensors or nano-mechanical systems to develop practical sensing applications. We study the quantum properties of light and its interaction with atomic and mechanical systems and explore the quantum physics of atoms, photons, phonons, and magnons. We work with nano-devices to explore fundamental electrical properties in low-dimensional systems such as carbon nanotubes, semiconducting nanowires, quantum dots, and graphene.
We combine different contact materials, for example ferromagnets, superconductors, and normal metals, to arrive at unconventional hybrid systems. We study questions related to quantum computing, such as the various mechanisms of relaxation and decoherence, physical and logical implementation of elementary quantum gates. We also work on novel topological quantum bits that are of interest for quantum computation such as Majorana fermions and parafermions. We work on theoretical quantum information science such as surface codes, quantum error corrections, and quantum memories.

Learn more about the QCQT focus of our research groups here

Theoretical Physics

Condensed Matter Theory & Quantum Computing Group
We are interested in the physical properties of systems that are candidates for ‘qubits’, the basic building blocks of a ‘quantum computer’. We study questions related to quantum computing, such as the various mechanisms of relaxation and decoherence, physical and logical implementation of elementary quantum gates, or the creation of entangled states.

Bruder Group: quantum transport, quantum computing, quantum optomechanics, quantum synchronization, quantum coherence

Klinovaja Group: quantum computing, topological states: Majorana fermions and parafermions, topological insulators, graphene, nanotubes, numerical simulations of condensed matter systems

Loss Group: quantum computing, qubits, spin qubits, quantum dots, spintronics, (microwave) cavity QED, topological quantum matter and phases, Majorana fermions, parafermions, topological insulators, topological and non-topological superconductivity, proximity effects, integer and fractional quantum Hall effect, chiral and helical edge states, Weyl and Dirac semimetals, Luttinger liquids, bosonization, strong correlations, quantum phase coherence, decoherence, braid statististic and anyons, surface code, quantum memory, magnonics, quantum magnetism, spin currents, skyrmionics, graphene, nanoribbons, nanotubes, nanowires, 2DEGs, quantum gases etc.

Experimental Physics

Maletinsky Group
The Basel Quantum Sensing Group is employing quantum systems for practical sensing applications, where classical approaches fail. Prime examples include magnetic imaging with single spins on the nanoscale and the realization of hybrid quantum systems, such as single spins coupled to mechanical oscillators. Our main focus is to apply our quantum sensors to open problems in condensed matter, mesoscopic physics, both in ambient and cryogenic environments. Recent achievements include the first such nanoscale imaging of individual vortices in high-temperature superconductors, or the imaging of magnetic domains in thin-film antiferromagnets. We are driven both by further pushing sensing performance of such quantum technologies and by their application to various areas of the nanosciences, where their unprecedented sensing performance offers a multitude of highly interesting applications.
Keywords: Quantum sensing, coherent spin dynamics, hybrid quantum systems, nano-magnetism, nano-photonics.

Meyer Group
Observation of Majorana bound states in Fe networks engineered atom-by atom on superconductors. Majorana bound states at the ends of Fe chains on superconducting surfaces are investigated by scanning tunneling and atomic force microscopy. The atomic structure will be modified by local probes and the consequences for the bound states observed. These novel topological quantum bits are of interest for quantum computation.
Keywords: Majorana bound state, scanning tunneling microscopy, atomic force microscopy, superconductors, topological systems

Poggio Group
We apply nano-mechanical sensors to ultra-sensitive measurements of force, spin, and charge. We also develop and use scanning magnetometers capable of measuring the stray fields produced by nanometer-scale magnetization configurations or current distributions. Hybrid quantum systems are another an area of investigation; in particular, we investigate systems, in which mechanical modes are coupled to quantized electronic states.
Keywords: nanomechanics, nanomagnetism, hybrid quantum systems, scanning SQUID microscopy, skyrmions

Sangouard Group
We work in the field of Theoretical Quantum optics, i.e. we study the quantum properties of light and its interaction with atomic, mechanical and biological systems. Our vision is to lay the theoretical ground work that is needed for both fundamental and applied experimental programs aiming i) to probe the limits of quantum theory ii) to make use of quantum technologies for revolutionizing communication, computing and sensing.

Schönenberger Group
The nanoelectronic group of the University of Basel does experiments with nanodevices to explore fundamental electrical properties in confined geometries. Experiments are primarily done with novel nanomaterials like carbon nanotubes (CNTs), semiconducting nanowires (NWs) and graphene. We use and develop both top-down and bottom-up processes and combine different contact materials, for example ferromagnets, superconductors and normal metals, to arrive at unconventional hybrid systems. CNTs and NWs are ideal base materials to realize quantum wires and to define quantum dots, while graphene is a gate-tunable two-dimensional electron gas with Dirac properties. Using these systems, we have contributed to the advancement of science with key results in the area of interacting quantum systems, spintronics, superconducting proximity effect, and correlation effects in reduced dimensions. Our current research targets are engineered devices in which unconventional ground-states and excitations appear, such as the Andreev and Majorana bound states, by design. We probe these systems both by DC transport measurements and also at RF by virtue of electromagnetic resonators.

Treutlein Group
The Treutlein Group explores the quantum physics of atoms, photons and phonons. In our experiments we use chip-based microtraps to prepare atoms in highly entangled states and investigate their use in quantum metrology. Moreover, we develop quantum interfaces between atoms and solid-state quantum systems such as semiconductor quantum dots or nanomechanical oscillators.
Keywords: Ultracold atoms in chip traps, Quantum metrology, Optomechanics, Quantum interfaces

Warburton Group
The Nano-Photonics Group is developing solid-state materials for quantum technology applications, mostly involving the generation and detection of single photons in the optical domain, and the development of a spin qubit. A workhorse system is a semiconductor quantum dot which is a close-to-ideal emitter of single photons and a host for a spin qubit.
Keywords: Single photon source, spin qubit, solid-state quantum optics, 2D semiconductors, single photon detection

Willitsch Group
The Willitsch group is developing quantum technologies for molecules focusing on cold molecular ions in traps as target systems. We explore quantum-logic assisted approaches for precision measurements on single isolated molecules and study the properties and applications of ion-atom, ion-molecule and ion-mechanical hybrid quantum systems. Our research is highly interdisciplinary and combines quantum science, nanoscience, AMO physics and chemistry.
Keywords: cold molecular ions, molecular quantum technologies, precision measurements, hybrid quantum systems

Zardo Group
The manipulation of phonons is a challenging objective, which holds the promise of a step forward in the understanding of quantum physics and corresponds to the manipulation of sound and heat at the single quantum level. We want to investigate and engineer phonon transport and phonon interference effects in nanostructures by means of a combination of spectroscopy techniques and transport experiments.
Keywords: Nanophononics, coherent phonon transport, pump-probe spectroscopy, Raman, phonon-based quantum computation.

Zumbühl Group
Research focuses on quantum transport experiments investigating quantum coherence, electron spins and nuclear spins and interactions in semiconductor and graphene nanostructures. Ongoing projects include

  • spin qubits in coupled, laterally gated GaAs quantum dots
  • microkelvin temperatures in nanoscale sample
  • novel quantum states of matter, such as electron or nuclear spin helices, topological states and Majorana fermions
  • spin-orbit coupling in GaAs quantum wells – experiments investigating mesoscopic electron transport, including graphene nanoribbon research

We are interested in coherent manipulation of individual quantum systems in solid state nanostructures with quantum computation as a long term goal.
Experiments investigate quantum transport through semiconductor nanostructures which are fabricated in house using high mobility 2D electron gas materials obtained from collaborating molecular beam epitaxy labs. Experiments are typically performed in dilution refrigerators at millikelvin temperatures in magnetic fields. Measurements are done using electronic low-noise techniques and may involve nanosecond-pulsing and microsecond readout schemes.
Keywords: Quantum transport, spins, interactions, qubit, semiconductors, graphene, spin-orbit coupling, quantum wells, low temperature physics, nano-physics

Excellence Fellowships

The PhD School “Quantum Computing and Quantum Technologies” (QCQT) of the Physics Department, University of Basel, is announcing several PhD excellence fellowships. We are looking for outstanding candidates with MSc degree in quantum science (or related field). Applications are accepted at any time throughout the year; the selection committee will evaluate candidates and award fellowships four times per year, after deadlines set for April 1st, July 1st, October 1st and January 1st. The Excellence Fellowships provide full funding for up to four years to complete a PhD thesis. The official language of the PhD School program is English.
The QCQT PhD school brings together over 13 research groups from both theoretical and experimental quantum science and quantum technology at the University of Basel and EUCOR — the European campus. Together, we are offering an excellent graduate program covering basic courses, advances seminars, summer/winter schools and workshops, performing research at the forefront of quantum science and quantum technology. Further, the program also provides soft skill courses, industry contacts, and an international, interdisciplinary and thriving environment in strong exchange with partner programs and centers such as the NCCR QSIT. We are aiming at attracting outstanding PhD students from in- and outside of Switzerland and providing training at the forefront of QCQT research.
The main areas of research are quantum computing, quantum measurements, spintronics and quantum magnonics, quantum sensing, quantum optics and cold atoms, quantum transport and nanoelectronics, topological properties of condensed matter systems, and quantum communication. To learn more about each of our research groups please visit our Website.

To apply for an excellence fellowship, please submit the following documents via the online-portal:

  1. Curriculum vitae 
  2. Official transcripts
    MSc, BSc, diplomas etc with grades, from all relevant institutions of higher education (all in English or German).   
  3. Statement of objectives/Motivational letter.
    A short statement of your research interests and how they relate to the work of our department. To increase your chances to be accepted to the PhD school, we encourage you to contact one of the professors of our department and secure their support for your application. 
  4. List of publications, if available.   
  5. One to three recommendation letters.
    The referees should upload their recommendation letters directly to the portal. It is your responsibility to contact your referees and to check that the recommendation letters are uploaded before the deadline.   
  6. Masters thesis (pdf)

PhD Program «Quantum Computing and Quantum Technology»

We are pleased to announce the opening of the Physics Department’s new PhD School „Quantum Computing and Quantum Technologies“ as of September 2016.

This new international PhD program bundles a wide range of expertise, know-how, and resources of the Department of Physics at the University of Basel as well as of Eucor – The European Campus,in the emerging research field of quantum sciences, quantum technologies and quantum information.
The program is aimed at attracting outstanding PhD students from in- and outside of Switzerland and providing training at the forefront of research in these fields.
The program is currently funded by the University of Basel and the swissuniversities and is supported by our partners ETH Zurich and NCCR QSIT.


We aim at attracting outstanding PhD students from in- and outside of Switzerland in the field of Quantum Computing and Quantum Technology and providing training at the forefront of research in this field.


Potentially successful candidates have to meet the following main criteria:

  • Very good Master’s degree or equivalent qualification
  • Capacity or good previous knowledge in Quantum Computing and Quantum Technology and/or the respective basics
  • Convincing/proven interest and motivation in Quantum Computing and Quantum Technology
  • Publications in a relevant research field are desirable

Admission procedure

As a potential candidate for the PhD School you have to

  • Verify if you are eligible for the Physics doctoral degree program. As a condition for admission into the Physics doctoral degree program, the University of Basel requires a master’s degree (usually, but not necessarily, in Physics) or a degree considered equivalent to a master’s degree. Click here for details or contact the admissions office for specific information. For applicants holding another type of degree, the admissions committee of the Faculty of Science decides case-by-case whether the degree can be considered equivalent to a master’s degree. A bachelor’s degree in general is considered insufficient for an admission into the doctoral degree program.
  • Identify the field of research you are being interested
  • Apply directly to the professor heading the research group, submitting the following documentation:
    • Transcript of BSc and MSc diploma
    • CV
    • Motivational Letter
    • Publications (if there is/are)
  • Once you have been accepted by a professor for a PhD at the department (or at an accredited partner institution of the PhD School QCQT), you can apply for the admission to the PhD School QCQT.
  • Submit the same documentation as mentioned above to the PhD School’s program coordinator (
  • Applications are being accepted on a continuing basis
  • Important general information regarding the admission to the doctoral degree program in Physics at the University of Basel


The PhD research projects are embedded in the research groups working in the area of quantum sciences. It takes three to maximum four years to complete a doctorate. All students of the PhD School „Quantum Computing and Quantum Technologies“ have to compile at least 18 credit points (ECTS) until the registration to the doctoral examination.

There two Modules (1) Module Quantum and (2) Module Career.

Module Quantum (minimum 15 ECTS)

There are several specific courses for PhD QCQT students.
Students have also the possibility to attend relevant lectures at the ETH Zurich and can participate in various courses and events of the NCCR QSIT, e.g. QSIT Winter School, General Meeting, PhD-Research-Meeting etc. In addition to that, after consultation with your PI, some courses of the Master program can be accredited for the PhD School QCQT (e.g. Quantum Optics, Quantum Information, Fundamental Electronics, Quantum Condensed Matter).

Module Career (minimum 3 ECTS)

This module comprises interdisciplinary courses of the University of Basel as well as accredited courses of other institutions, who provide the PhD students with further important scientific or non-scientific professional skills, e.g. courses in career development, rhetoric, start-up, patents, crisis management, science ethics, or technology transfer. The executive committee decides which courses will be accredited.