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SK2700 Mesoscopic Physics 8.0 credits

The course will give an introduction to a relatively new branch of Condensed Matter Physics, which deals with the properties of small systems – larger than single atoms or molecules, but smaller than bulk material – often called “nano structures”.  These systems, like single atoms, can display quantum properties, but the variables one quantizes are variables typically used to describe classical, macroscopic properties.  In the mesoscopic regime, new effects arise, such as:  The quantization of electrical conductance, dissipation free currents in normal metal (non-superconducting), the Coulomb blockade of tunnel current in small capacitance structures and the single electron transistor, quantum electrodynamics and charge – flux duality in mesoscopic superconductors. Many of these phenomena form a new foundation for electronic devices.

Course offering missing for current semester as well as for previous and coming semesters
Headings with content from the Course syllabus SK2700 (Autumn 2008–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

Classical transport and diffusion, ballistic transport and conductance quantization, Landauer formalism and coherent transport, gauge invariant phase and Aharonov-Bhom effect, weak and strong localization, Coulomb blockade, Mesoscopic superconductors, decoherence of a quantum system in its environment. Nano-electronics, Nano-mechanics, experimental methods and demonstrations..

Intended learning outcomes

The goal of this course is to communicate a basic understanding of electron transport in system that are “coherent” in the quantum mechanical sense. With this understanding you should be able to:

  • Compare new the new concepts of nano-electronics with the present-day technique, and understand their fundamental limits.
  • Use simple models to calculate the basic energy and length scales for mesoscopic phenomena which are physically relevant.
  • Identify various basic device concepts in a variety of physics systems.

Course disposition

No information inserted

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

Recommended prerequisites: Basic courses in electro-magnetism and quantum mechanics are required. Basic course in solid state physics (kittel level) is recommended.

Recommended prerequisites

No information inserted


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Supriyo Datta, Electron Transport in Mesoscopic Systems, Cambridge University Press.

Diverse articles

Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

A, B, C, D, E, FX, F


  • INL1 - Assignments, 6,0 hp, betygsskala: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F
  • LAB1 - Laboratory Work, 2,0 hp, betygsskala: P, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

Other requirements for final grade

The examination will be through home project assignments (INL1; 6 credits, grading scale A-F) and lab exercises (LAB1; 2 credits, grading scale P/F).

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

No information inserted

Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

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Profile picture David B Haviland

Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course web

Further information about the course can be found on the Course web at the link below. Information on the Course web will later be moved to this site.

Course web SK2700

Offered by

SCI/Applied undergraduate Physics

Main field of study

Engineering Physics, Physics

Education cycle

Second cycle

Add-on studies

SK2710 Spin Electronics


David B Haviland (