TFY4340 - Quantum transport theory


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Work
Grade: Letter grades

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Work 100/100

Course content

State-of-the-art nanotechnology facilitates the creation of electronic devices so small that both the particle and the wave nature of the electrons are important. In such devices quantum mechanics can thus play an important role, which in principle could enable us to realize science-fiction-like quantum technologies such as quantum computation and quantum cryptography. This course will cover the key concepts of quantum transport in nanoscale electronic devices, from a theoretical perspective. We will start by briefly discussing the basics of solid-state physics that underlie most nanoscale fabrication techniques. Then we will introduce the scattering-matrix description of electronic transport and noise on the nanoscale and use it to derive the simple Landauer-Büttiker formalism. This will allow us to understand several different quantum-mechanical transport phenomena, including the quantum Hall effect, resonant tunneling, persistent currents, weak localization, universal conductance fluctuations, and Coulomb blockade. In the last part of the course we will introduce the fields of spintronics and quantum computation as examples of quantum technologies that are based on the phenomena we discussed earlier.

Learning outcome


  • A thorough understanding of the basics of electron transport in nanoscale devices.
  • A good overview of the most important quantum-mechanical effects in this context.
  • Familiarity with several simple theoretical frameworks to describe and understand these effects.
  • Basic understanding of the advantages and principles of several proposed quantum technologies, in particular spintronics and quantum information.


  • The student will learn how to analyze quantum effects and phenomena in electronic devices, using the simple intuitive formalisms we will derive in the course.

General competence:

  • The student will acquire a good overview of the present status of the field of nanophysics / quantum technologies.

Learning methods and activities

Lectures and exercise classes. Expected workload in the course is 225 hours.

Further on evaluation

Works consist of three homework sets and a literature reading task at the end of the semester that involves giving a short presentation.

The re-sit examination may be oral.

Course materials

Lecture notes and powerpoint slides.

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
FY8909 7.5 AUTUMN 2014
More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Second degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  SPRING 2025

Language of instruction: English

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Physics
  • Technological subjects
Contact information
Course coordinator: Lecturer(s):

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Physics


Examination arrangement: Work

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Spring ORD Work 100/100 INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

More on examinations at NTNU