Higginbotham Group

Condensed Matter and Quantum Circuits

It is possible to construct a microchip whose electronic behavior differs qualitatively from its constituent pieces. New particles and phases of matter can emerge, such as fractionalized electrons that are neither fermions nor bosons, and quantum-critical metals that defy long-held beliefs on the nature of conductivity. We build such chips from effectively low-dimensional materials, pattern them with nano-lithography, and measure them at ultralow temperatures.  In many ways, although the basic laws describing these systems are well known and immutable, it is as though an entirely new physical reality arises once such a chip is constructed.

Currently, the group is interested in using electromechanical and microwave measurement techniques to study quantities that are “invisible” to conventional electrical transport experiments. On the electromechanics side, ultra-high-Q mechanical oscillators are being built to study dynamics and quantum coherence in insulating phases of matter. On the microwave side, wide-band and low noise receiver chains are being constructed to perform fundamental studies on the electrical properties of superconductor-semiconductor heterostructures, which harbor poorly understood superconducting, metallic, and – possibly – topological phases.

Group Leader

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Current Projects


Higginbotham AP, Burns PS, Urmey MD, Peterson RW, Kampel NS, Brubaker BM, Smith G, Lehnert KW, Regal CA. 2018. Harnessing electro-optic correlations in an efficient mechanical converter. Nature Physics. 14(10), 1038–1042. View

Rosenthal EI, Ehrlich NK, Rudner MS, Higginbotham AP, Lehnert KW. 2018. Topological phase transition measured in a dissipative metamaterial. Physical Review B. 97(22), 220301. View

Rosenthal E, Chapman B, Higginbotham AP, Kerckhoff J, Lehnert K. 2017. Breaking Lorentz reciprocity with frequency conversion and delay. APS Physics, Physical Review Letters. 119(14), 147703. View

Menke T, Burns P, Higginbotham AP, Kampel NS, Peterson R, Cicak K, Simmonds R, Regal C, Lehnert K. 2017. Reconfigurable re-entrant cavity for wireless coupling to an electro-optomechanical device. Review of Scientific Instruments. 88(9), 094701. View

Albrecht SM, Hansen E, Higginbotham AP, Kuemmeth F, Jespersen T, Nygård J, Krogstrup P, Danon J, Flensberg K, Marcus C. 2017. Transport signatures of quasiparticle poisoning in a majorana island. APS Physics, Physical Review Letters. 118(13), 137701. View

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since 2019 Assistant Professor, IST Austria
2017-2019 Researcher, Microsoft Station Q Copenhagen
2015-2017 Postdoctoral research, JILA: NIST and CU Boulder
2010-2015 Ph.D., Harvard University
2009-2010 M.Phil., Cambridge University
2005-2009 B.Sc., Harvey Mudd College

Selected Distinctions

2016 National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship
2010 D.O.E. Office of Science Graduate Fellowship
2009 A.P.S. Apker Award Finalist
2009 Churchill Foundation Scholarship, Cambridge, UK

Addtional Information

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View Higginbotham Lab website

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