Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies contact@dias.ie 00353 (0) 16140100







at the

School of Theoretical Physics

 Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies

Dates: November 10th, 11th, and 12th, 2014




The goal of this workshop is to bring together researchers in nano-science, condensed matter and quantum information with a view to fostering interdisciplinary communication and collaboration. Although there will be a strong emphasis on topological and surface state aspects of condensed matter, the workshop will also include related areas such as material design, quantum information, and statistical and quantum field theories. 



Scientific Program

  • Topological insulators and superconductors
  • Nano-scale devices for cold atoms
  • Quantum phase transitions and quantum transport
  • Correlation effects and scattering in quantum-dots
  • Interferometry of non-Abelian quantum Hall states
  • Quantum entanglement in strongly interacting systems
  • Quantum and statistical field theories


There is no registration fee for this event, although participants are expected to sort out their own accommodation in Dublin city. For more information on the event and  you can contact the organisers directly at gkells [at] stp [dot] dias [dot] ie


You can register for the event using the form below .

Official registration for this event will close on the 31st of October.

For late registration please email the organisers.



Invited Speakers
Hans-Benjamin Braun
Piet Brouwer 
Jonathan Coleman
Cristiane Morais Smith 
Klaus Ensslin 
Karsten Flensberg 
Mark Goerbig
Kareljan Schoutens
Steve Simon
Frank Verstraete 
Susanne Viefers
Felix von Oppen
Jan Zaanen 
Martin Zirnbauer
Local organisers
Graham Kells
Marianne Leitner
Werner Nahm
Joost Slingerland
Jiri Vala


Tentative timetable


Monday, November 10

0830-0930     Arrival and Welcome
0930-1020     Felix von Oppen
Magnetic adatoms on superconductors – a new venue for Majorana bound states?
1030-1120     Piet Brouwer
Interacting end states in a one-dimensional superconductor
1130-1150     Tea/Coffee
1150-1240     Karsten Flensberg
Tunneling spectroscopy of Majorana bound states
1250-1430     Lunch
1430-1520     Klaus Ensslin
Imaging of integer and fractional quantum Hall edge states
1530-1620     Jan Zaanen
Holography and the strange metals of condensed matter physics
1620-1640     Tea/Coffee
1640-1720     Jonathan Coleman
Kitchen Physics: Using physics to produce state-of-the-art nanomaterials with household implements
1740-             Poster Session/Reception

Tuesday, November 11

0900-0950    Cristiane Morais Smith
Topological states in higher orbitals
1000-1050    Mark Goerbig
Two-dimensional semi-conductors : massive Dirac fermions or nothing new?
1100-1120    Tea/Coffee
1120-1210    Martin Zirnbauer   
Bott periodicity and the “Periodic Table” of topological insulators and superconductors
1220-1340    Lunch
1340-1430    Kareljan Schoutens
Strange metals in one spatial dimension
1440-1530    Susanne Viefers
Rotational properties of two-component gases in the lowest Landau level
1530-1550    Tea/Coffee
1550-1640    Frank Verstraete
Shadows of Anyons
1650-1710    Kyrylo Snizhko
1710-1730    Mikael Fremling
1730-1750    Jorgen Fulsebakke
Tunnelling current noise in the fractional quantum Hall effect and the information it can give 
Hall viscosity of hierarchical quantum Hall states
Quantum Hall pair correlations
2000-            Workshop Dinner
                     “The School House”

Wednesday, November 12



0900-0920     Clotilde Cucinotta
0920-0940     Awadhesh Narayan
Electronic properties and chemical reactivity of TiS2 nanoflakes from first principles
Topological tuning in three-dimensional Dirac semimetals
0940-1030     Hans Benjamin Braun
Topological effects in nanoscale magnetism
1040-1050     Tea/Coffee
1050-1140     Steve Simon
Update on Sr2RuO4
1140-1200     Closing remarks

 Financial Support

Junior participants can avail of financial support for travel and accommodation.  If you wish to make use of this, please say so in the comments section of the registration form. 



Finding us

The Institute is located at

 10 Burlington Road


Number 10 Burlington Road, Dublin 4 ( GPS +53° 19′ 53.08″, -6° 14′ 45.08″ )( Loc8:NN5-15-W23 )




Accommodation details

There are several  hotels and guest-houses in close proximity to DIAS.






Prices in Dublin 4 tend to be slightly above average however.   You may also like to try the following websites:



Please contact us if you need any help.




Hans Benjamin Braun: Topological effects in nanoscale magnetism 

Recent years have seen increased interest in topologically stable configurations in nanoscale magnetic systems which can potentially be used as bits for information storage.  Racetrack memory devices based on domain walls or skyrmions are prominent examples.  The ever increasing demand for higher data storage density forces us to understand topological defects at ever decreasing length scales where thermal and quantum effects play an increasingly important role. In this talk I will focus on two examples which illustrate the transition from classical to quantum regime and the emergence of new phenomena: Firstly, in anisotropic spin chains, quantum fluctuations induce dynamics of domain walls or spinons, and this gives rise to a spontaneous chirality and spin currents which are measured via neutron scattering. Secondly, systems of classically coupled dipoles such as spin ice have recently shown to exhibit remarkable phenomena such as emergent magnetic monopoles as elementary excitations. The quantum nature of the dipolar interaction for example becomes manifest for vortex phases in certain rare earth trihalides. It is shown how an applied field triggers a series of quantum phase transition in which the Berry phase  plays a pivotal role. Such behaviour is observed in neutron scattering experiments  and it is shown that the rare earth trihalide are described by a quantum spin version of the Bose Hubbard model.


Piet Brouwer: Interacting end states in one-dimensional superconductors

In the presence of an effective time-reversal symmetry, multiple Majorana end states may coexist at the ends of a one-dimensional superconducting wire. Fidkowski and Kitaev have shown that such systems have a 8 topological classification once local interactions are taken into account. I’ll consider the fate of these eight topological classes once the superconductor is coupled to a normal-metal lead. Interestingly, the coupling to a normal metal creates an additional topological structure, which is well described by the trace of the Andreev reflection matrix r_he.


Jonathan Coleman: Kitchen Physics: Using the methods of physics to produce state of the art nanomaterials using household implements

Graphene is one of the most important of all nano-materials. For many applications, high quality, defect free graphene is required. However by and large it is possible to make either small quantities of high-quality graphene or a large quantities of low quality graphene. In this talk, I will describe a method produce large quantities of high-quality, few layer graphene nanosheets. In order to make this process scalable, simplicity is a significant virtue. We have used one of the simplest chemical processing technologies, high shear mixing, to exfoliate graphite to give large quantities of graphene dispersed in liquids. Although the graphene sheets produced in this way are rather small they are virtually defect free. We have developed a basic understanding of the exfoliation process, supported by a simple mathematical model. This model predicts that even our humble kitchen blender can be used to produce exfoliated graphene. We have tested this prediction by exfoliating not only graphite, but born nitride, molybdenum disulphide and tungsten disulphide in kitchen blenders. Furthermore, we showed that the graphene produced in this way can be easily inserted into store-bought elastic bands to create strain sensors with state-of-the-art properties. We believe that this is an important demonstration of the power of nano materials.


Clotilde Cucinotta : Electronic Properties and Chemical Reactivity of TiS2 nanoflakes from first principles

Transition metal dichalcogenides have a laminar structure, weakly bound through van der Waals interactions. They are of special interest also because of the unique properties stemming from their exfoliation in nanoflakes. By means of ab initio simulations we study the oxidation process of a TiS2 nanoflake, in terms of electronic structure, reaction energies and pathways. We find that the oxidation process is thermodynamically and kinetically viable when initiated by the generation of a surface vacancy, with an energy barrier of about 1 eV. A fine-tuning control of the gap of this material is enabled by O-insertion. Important technological applications for surface catalysis and photovoltaics are enabled by this possibility.


Klaus Ensslin: Imaging of integer and fractional quantum Hall edge states

The integer and fractional quantum Hall effect are two different macroscopic quantum phenomena, which lead to similar observations in electron transport experiments on two-dimensional electron gases at high magnetic fields. The phenomenology of both effects is a result of one-dimensional channels at the sample edge, which transmit electrical signals without losses between contacts separated by macroscopic distances. We explore the internal structure of integer and fractional quantum Hall edge channels by modifying the edge potential locally with the voltage-biased tip of a scanning force microscope, and find unprecedented rich structure on local scales. We measure the conductance of a quantum point contact (QPC) while the scanning tip induces a depleted region in the electron gas underneath. We find a sequence of lens-shaped regions in the maps of conductance as a function of tip position, which resemble theoretically predicted compressible and incompressible stripes of quantum Hall edge states. The stripes are rugged on the micron scale, i.e. on a scale much smaller than the zero-field elastic mean free path of the electrons. Our experiments demonstrate that microscopic inhomogeneities are abundant even in high-quality samples and lead to locally strongly fluctuating widths of incompressible regions even down to their complete suppression for certain tip positions. Nevertheless the macroscopic quantization of the Hall resistance, which is experimentally measured in a non-local contact configuration, survives, and the relevant local energy scales turn out to be independent of tip position.


Karsten Flensberg: Tunneling spectroscopy of Majorana bound states



Mikael Fremling: Hall viscosity of hierarchical quantum Hall states

Using methods based on conformal field theory, we construct model wave functions on a torus with arbitrary flat metric for all chiral states in the abelian quantum Hall hierarchy. These functions have no variational parameters, and they transform under the modular group in the same way as the multicomponent generalizations of the Laughlin wave functions. For the filling factor ν = 2/5 Jain state, which is at the second level in the hierarchy, we compare our model wave function with the numerically obtained ground state of the Coulomb interaction Hamiltonian in the lowest Landau level, and find very good agreement in a large region of the complex τ plane. For the same example, we also numerically compute the Hall viscosity and find good agreement with the analytical result for both the model wave function andthe numerically obtained Coulomb wave function. We argue that this supports the notion of a generalized plasma analogy that would ensure that wave functions obtained using the conformal field theory methods do not acquire Berry phases upon adiabatic evolution.


Jørgen Fulsebakke: Quantum Hall pair correlations


The pair correlation is useful in studying quantum Hall trial wave functions, revealing physical quantities such as the energy gap through the single mode approximation and exhibiting signatures of second Landau level electron pairing. Using an efficient Monte Carlo algorithm, we can calculate the pair correlation for trial wave functions such as the negative flux composite fermion states and the Bonderson-Slingerland states, which may describe conductance plateaus observed in the second Landau level that could harbour non-Abelian anyons. Until recently, these systems could only be studied for very small numbers of electrons.



Mark Goerbig: Two-dimensional semiconductors: massive Dirac fermions or nothing new?

Beyond graphene, several other 2D crystals have now been isolated and might provide novel materials for next-generation electronics. Apart from boron nitride, transition-metal dichalcogenides are at present heavily investigated, both on an experimental and a theoretical level.

One of the most remarkable aspects of graphene is certainly its electronic properties that are described in terms of ultra-relativistic (massless) Dirac fermions. One may thus raise the question to what extent the above-mentioned new class of 2D (semi-conducting) crystals calls for a description in terms of (now massive) Dirac fermions or whether they are correctly described in terms of usual Schroedinger-type fermions. Naturally this question is only pertinent if there are physical phenomena that allow one to distinguish between the two types of fermions.

In this talk, I will first discuss the differences between Schroedinger and Dirac fermions in 2D direct-gap semiconductors with triangular symmetry. These differences are most prominently revealed in a magnetic field. Namely the position of the “zero-energy” Landau levels sensitively depends on the fermions’ character. Furthermore, we expect particular selection rules in magneto-optical measurements, e.g. in transition-metal dichalcogenides if the latter are correctly described in terms of Dirac fermions [1]. Finally, I will try to discuss the nature of the low-energy electrons in 2D semiconductors from a more general viewpoint and show that it is principally possible to interpolated between Schroedinger and Dirac fermions [2]. This interpolation may be characterised via a parameter (“Diracness”) that could be identified experimentally in magneto-transport measurements or numerically via a calculation of the Berry curvature at the gap.

[1] F. Rose, MOG, F. Piéchon, Phys. Rev. B 88, 125438 (2013).

[2] MOG, G. Montambaux, F. Piéchon, EPL 105, 57005 (2014).


Kareljan Schoutens: Strange Metals in One Spatial Dimension

We consider a 1+1 dimensional Strange Metal, which arises from SU(N) gauge theory coupled to a multiplet of massive Dirac fermions transforming in the adjoint representation of the gauge group. The high density limit is characterized by a deconfined Fermi surface, with low energy fluctuations described by a coset conformal field theory with central charge c=(N^2-1)/3  and an emergent N=(2,2) supersymmetry. We determine the exact scaling dimensions of the operators associated with Friedel oscillations and pairing correlations and explore the N→∞ limit.


Steve Simon: Update on Sr2RuO4



Cristiane Morais Smith: Topological states in higher orbitals

The recent realization of “synthetic graphene” by the self-assembling of semiconducting nano-crystals into a honeycomb lattice has opened new perspectives into the realization of topological materials in condensed matter [1]. By choosing the chemical elements in the nanocrystal, the spin-orbit coupling can be tuned to a great extent, thus allowing us to engineer new materials that could be useful for technological applications. A honeycomb lattice made of CdSe nanocrystals was shown to exhibit Dirac cones in the s and p conduction bands, as well as a topological phase in the valence band [1].

Topological states of matter are being studied not only in condensed matter, but also in quantum optics. By loading ultracold fermions or bosons into optical lattices, it is possible to simulate cond-mat systems, thus custom tailoring model Hamiltonians which are supposed to describe complex quantum systems. The recent experimental realization of a p_x + i p_y Bose-Einstein condensate of Rb in a 2D optical lattice, for which time-reversal symmetry is spontaneously broken, is a fascinating example of the numerous possibilities to be explored with those systems [2].

[1] E. Kalesaki, C. Delerue, C. Morais Smith, W. Beugeling, G. Allen, and D. Vanmaekelbergh,  PRX 4, 011010 (2014).

[2] M. Ölschläger, T. Kock, G. Wirth, A. Ewerbeck, C. Morais Smith and A Hemmerich, New Journal Phys.15, 083041 (2013). 


Kyrylo Snizhko: Tunnelling current noise in fractional quantum Hall effect and the information it can give

Tunnelling current noise measurements are not new in studies of the quantum Hall effect (QHE). Perhaps, the most famous use of these was the confirmation of fractional charges of the fractional QHE (FQHE) quasiparticles [1, 2]. Experiments that are more recent confirmed the existence of counter-propagating neutral transport channels in several FQHE states with the help of such measurements [3]. I will briefly introduce a theoretical framework [4] that allows one to analyse such measurements quantitatively. I will show that one can extract a lot of information from such measurements, including the scaling dimension of the tunnelling quasiparticle [5] and the behaviour of tunnelling amplitudes [4].

[1] R. De-Picciotto et al., Direct observation of a fractional charge, Nature, 389(6647):162, 1997.

[2] L. Saminadayar et al., Observation of the e/3 fractionally charged Laughlin quasiparticle, Physical Review Letters 79(13):2526, 1997.

[3] A. Bid et al., Observation of neutral modes in the fractional quantum Hall regime, Nature, 466(7306):585, 2010.

[4] O. Shtanko, K. Snizhko, V. Cheianov, Non-equilibrium noise in transport across a tunneling contact between ν = 2/3 fractional quantum Hall edges,
Phys. Rev. B
89(12):125104, 2014.

[5] K. Snizhko, V. Cheianov, Scaling dimension of quantum Hall quasiparticles from tunneling current noise measurements, arXiv:1410.2400.


Awadhesh  Narayan : Topological tuning in three-dimensional Dirac semimetals.

Graphene is, by now, a well-known two-dimensional Dirac semimetal. Recently, three-dimensional Dirac semimetals have been theoretically proposed and experimentally realized. In this work, we study with first-principles methods the interplay between bulk and surface Dirac fermions in three- dimensional Dirac semimetals. By combining density functional theory with the coherent potential approximation, we reveal a topological phase transition in Na3Bi1−xSbx and Cd3[As1−xPx]2 alloys, where the material goes from a Dirac semimetal to a trivial insulator upon changing Sb or P con- centrations. Tuning the composition allows us to engineer the position of the bulk Dirac points in reciprocal space. Interestingly, the phase transition coincides with the reversal of the band or- dering between the conduction and valence bands. The ab initio results are corroborated using a low-energy Dirac-like model.

Reference: A. Narayan, D. Di Sante, S. Picozzi, and S. Sanvito, arXiv:1408.3509.


Frank Verstraete: Shadows of Anyons

We will discuss topological quantum order from the point of view of quantum tensor networks. In particular, we will show how boundary theories and edge modes arise naturally on the virtual space, and show how topological phase transitions are related to symmetry breaking phase transitions in that picture


Susanne Viefers: Rotational properties of two-component gases in the lowest Landau level

In recent years there has been substantial interest in the study of strongly correlated states of cold atoms, analogous to exotic states known from low-dimensional electron systems – one ’holy grail’ being experimental realisation of quantum Hall-like states in atomic Bose condensates. In particular there have been many studies on the rotational properties of cold atom systems, as rotation is the conceptually simplest way of simulating a magnetic field for electrically neutral bosonic or fermionic atoms. Even richer physics is expected in the case of two-species gases, such as mixtures of two types of bosonic atoms, since (for species- independent interactions), the system then possesses an additional pseudospin symmetry.

In this talk I will give an introduction to the field, followed by some recent results[1] on the rotational properties of two-species Bose gases in the low-angular momentum regime of the lowest Landau level. Interestingly, an experimental realisation of this regime for single species Bose gases was reported recently[2]. In particular we show that, contrary to expectations, trial wave functions of the composite fermion (CF) type, known from quantum Hall physics, give a very accurate description of the low energy states of this system. It is also shown how working only with a certain subset of possible CF candidate wave functions constitutes a major computational simplification without much loss of accuracy for the low-lying states. Finally I will briefly discuss some striking mathematical identities between seemingly different CF candidate states, of interest for a better understanding of the CF method in general[3].

1. M. L. Meyer, G. J. Sreejith, and S. Viefers, Phys. Rev. A 89, 043625 (2014). 2. N. Gemelke, E. Sarajlic, and S. Chu, arXiv:1007.2677.

3. A. C. Balram, A. Wojs, and J. K. Jain, Phys. Rev. B 88, 205312 (2013). 


Felix Von Oppen: Magnetic adatoms on superconductors – a new venue for Majorana bound states?



Jan Zaanen: Holography and the strange metals of condensed matter physics.

The holographic duality (or “AdS/CFT” correspondence) of string theory has delivered very recently a series of predictions for novel states of compressible quantum matter. This method addresses physics that is not accessible by conventional field theoretical methods: strongly interacting fermionic matter at finite density, residing behind the “fermion sign problem brick wall”.  The fermion signs appear to give rise to long range quantum entanglements of a new kind, translating into the emergence of strongly interacting quantum critical phases with very unusual scaling properties.  In turn, these “holographic strange metals” are naturally unstable towards superconducting- and other ordered phases, invoking a generalized form of the Cooper instability. I will review this development, with a special emphasis on the prediction that the transport is governed by a ‘minimal viscosity’ hydrodynamics. This appears to yield a natural explanation for the linear resistivity  of the cuparte strange metal, while a number of (falsifiable) predictions follow invoking unconventional experiments.    


Martin Zirnbauer: Bott periodicity and the “Periodic Table” of topological insulators and superconductors

Bott periodicity is said to be one the most surprising phenomena in topology. Perhaps even more surprising is its recent appearance in condensed matter physics. Building on work of Schnyder et al, Kitaev argued that symmetry-protected ground states of gapped free-fermion systems, also known as topological insulators and superconductors, organize into a kind of periodic table governed by a variant of the Bott periodicity theorem. In this talk, I will sketch the mathematical background, the physical context, and some new results of this ongoing story of mathematical physics.