Please take note of this announcement and forward it to anyone who
might be interested. Thank you.
This summer/fall we are going to hire two PhD students to work
with us on new computational approaches to quantum
transport. Candidates should have a strong background in
theoretical physics (ideally condensed matter / quantum transport)
as well as experience in software design and development.
Each PhD project will consist of three overlapping phases:
(1) Prototyping of a new computational approach for quantum
(2) Implementation of the new approach within the framework of the
Kwant code .
(3) Application of the newly gained capabilities to unsolved
physical problems, in close collaboration with experts in the
The two subjects are introduced in some detail at the bottom of
The research will take place at the Institute for Nanoscience and
Cryogenics (INAC) of CEA Grenoble (France) over the course of
three years under the supervision of Christoph Groth and Xavier
Waintal in close collaboration with Michael Wimmer and Anton
Akhmerov of Delft University of Technology (Netherlands).
The city of Grenoble offers a superb combination of a rich
international scientific environment with a unique natural and
cultural setting. Grenoble is home to a vibrant nanoscience
research community , several international research
institutions (ESRF synchrotron, ILL neutron source, and others)
and 60,000 university students. The city is literally surrounded
by the French alps that offer numerous possibilities for outdoor
Interested candidates are invited to send an application to
Christoph Groth  with the subject “PhD application Kwant 2015”.
Applications should include:
• a CV,
• Email addresses of persons that can be asked for a
• an example of theoretical physical work done by the applicant
(e.g. a project, or a master thesis),
Applicants are invited to also provide the source code of a
program that highlights their software engineering experience.
Christoph Groth and Xavier Waintal
Subject 1: Scalable electrostatics computations
Both single-particle simulations of quantum nanoelectronics and
pure electrostatics simulations are a standard problem. However,
in order to accurately simulate complex quantum systems, one needs
to combine both approaches. This transforms the linear
electrostatic problem into a non-linear integro-differential
system of equations with rapidly growing complexity. Current
approaches at exactly solving the combined problem are limited to
small systems of around 10 nanometers in linear size. Advancing
the state of the art is becoming increasingly important to improve
our understanding of modern experiments (e.g. spin qubits,
Subject 2: Multidimensional scattering
Traditionally, quantum transport codes have focused on the 1-d
scattering problem: a finite scattering region with attached
semi-infinite quasi-1-d electrodes. While this suffices to
calculate the basic experimental observables (for example
conductance), solving the more general n-dimensional case would
• characterize disordered materials with a non-spherical band
• calculate transport properties of crystallographic defects,
• treat hybrid systems with different dimensionalities (e.g. a 1-d
nanowire coupled to a 3-d superconductor).
The first two capabilities would greatly aid in the analysis of
realistic systems and materials that in practice contain disorder,
dislocations and impurities. The last capability would be highly
valuable for example for studies of Majorana fermions.
We have prepared a short (5 min) anonymous survey for users of
Kwant. Please consider helping us by filling it out and do not
hesitate to spread the word to others who might not be on this
The survey is linked from the top of http://kwant-project.org/.
It can be also accessed directly at
Thanks, your feedback is highly appreciated.
Christoph on behalf of the authors of Kwant