Andrew Higginbotham

Assistant professor

Andrew Higginbotham is an assistant professor at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria). He is co-leading the Protected States of Quantum Matter project.

Originally from the US, Higginbotham did his undergraduate work at Harvey Mudd College in California, and afterwards spent one year as a Churchill Scholar in Cambridge, UK, where he worked at the boundary of chemistry and optical physics with the goal of building optical signal processing devices. His graduate work as a Department of Energy NDSEG fellow at Harvard University and the Niels Bohr Institute (Copenhagen, Denmark) addressed quantum computation, concentrating on spin physics and topology in nanoscale semiconductor devices. His postdoctoral work as a graduate research fellow at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)/JILA in Colorado focused on building quantum communication devices linking the microwave and optical domains.

Higginbotham’s group at IST experimentally explores the boundaries between condensed-matter systems and quantum information processing. In practice, the group builds small electronic devices that combine superconductors, semiconductors and mechanical oscillators. The central idea of their approach is that building rudimentary information-processing devices both teaches us about the physics of these interesting systems and advances technology such as quantum computing. Currently, the group is studying the physics of superconductor-semiconductor hybrids and Josephson arrays using electromechanical and microwave measurement techniques.