We are the quantum theory team led by Dr Erik Gauger at Heriot-Watt University.

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About our research

We study how harnessing quantum mechanical properties of nanostructures enables novel kinds of technologies:


Unlocking the ultimate limits of energy efficiency requires a physical understanding at level of single quanta of energy.


Information processing in the quantum world offers fascinating non-classical advantages.


Quantum systems are fragile, and this can exploited for probing the environment.

Group members

Dr Erik Gauger

Group leader, Associate Professor at Heriot-Watt, and Member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh's Young Academy of Scotland.

Google Scholar

Dr Moritz Cygorek

Moritz is a senior Research Associate working on efficient and exact simulations of nanoscale quantum devices, as part of a joint project with collaborators at St Andrews.

Dr Nicholas Werren

Nick is a Research Associate to work on bio-inspired, quantum-enhanced light-harvesting.

Nicole Farrier

is interested in quantum-enhanced light harvesting and quantum simulation of open systems dynamics.

Hamish Scott

explores protocols for quantum metrology, studying both optical setups and spin sensors.

Berke Ricketti

has been investigating the coherence time of sunlight and the modelling of semi-coherent excitation. He is also at home in the Edinburgh Mostly Quantum Lab.

Zia Muhammad

currently works on dispersive, waveguide-assisted read out of double quantum dots. He is jointly supervised with Brendon Lovett and based at St Andrews.

Scott Davidson

studies information theoretic approaches to optimising quantum transport. He is jointly supervised with Felix Pollock.

Alexandre Coates

studies questions pertaining to noise-enhanced quantum transport. He is jointly supervised with Brendon Lovett.

David Craig

explores approaches for understanding, controlling, and optimising solid-state quantum devices using machine learning. He is primarily based in Oxford in the group Dr Natalia Ares.

Sean Anderson

investigates quantum effects in the light matter interaction of strongly coupled systems with applicaitons for light-harvesting.

Julian Wiercinski

is working on understanding the properties of strongly coupled indistinguishable quantum emitters and absorbers.

Stewart Wallace

uses Bayesian inference for Lindbladian learning from measured data. He is jointly supervised with Dr Cristian Bonato.

Collaborative network

Besides many of our IPaQS colleagues we have recently been interacting closely with with:
  • Dr Jakub Sowa, Univeristy of Texas
  • Prof Nir Keren, Prof Yossi Paltiel, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • Prof Daniele Faccio FSRE, Dr Niclas Westerberg, Glasgow University
  • Dr Giuseppe Luca Celardo, LENS, Florence
  • Dr Brendon Lovett, Dr Jonathan Keeling, University of St Andrews
  • Prof Simon Benjamin, Prof Andrew Briggs, Prof Harry Andersson FRS, University of Oxford
  • Prof Tom Stace, University of Queensland
  • Dr Ivan Kassal, University of Sydney
  • Dr Jan Mol, Queen Mary London
  • Dr Rafael Gomez-Bombarelli, Massachusett's Institute of Technology
  • Dr Ahsan Nazir, Photon Sciences Institute, Manchester
  • Dr Felix Pollock, Monash University Melbourne
  • Dr Neill Lambert, RIKEN Japan

Group alumni

    • Dr Dominic Branford
    • Dr Niclas Westerberg - now Postdoctoral Research Fellow (1851) at Glasgow University, UK
    Doctoral Students
    • Dr Dominic Rouse - now Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Manchester, UK
    • Dr Will Brown - now Software Engineer at BNP Paribas, UK
    • Dr Jakub Sowa - now Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Texas, US
    • Dr Eleanor Dale Scerri - now Software Tester Ubisoft, Germany
    • Dr Amir Fruchtman - now Senior Algorithm Engineer at SAIPS, Israel
    • Dr Kieran Higgins - now Big Data Software Engineer, US
    • Dr George Knee - now Software Engineer at Magmo, UK / US
    • Dr Marcus Schaffry - now Business Solutions and Support Engineer, European Patent Office, Germany
    Research Project Students
    • Ms Jemma Callaghan (MPhys)
    • Ms Romane Moulin (MPhys)
    • Mr Jamie Nash (MPhys)
    • Ms Alicia Fallows (BSc Hons)
    • Mr Robert Hay (MPhys)
    • Mr Robert Chirnside (BSc Hons)
    • Dr Filip Auksztol (MMat)


We are looking for enthusiastic people to join our group!

EPSRC DTP Studentships

Opportunities for fully funded PhD studentships for UK and EU applicants exist. Places are filled on a competitive, rolling basis.

Postdoc Openings

Unfortunately, there are no current openings, however, we would be very happy to support personal fellowship applications. Please get in touch if interested.

Selected publications

  • Superabsorption in an organic microcavity: towards a quantum battery, J. Q. Quach, K. E. McGhee, L. Ganzer, D. M. Rouse, B. W. Lovett, E. M. Gauger, J. Keeling, G. Cerullo, D. G. Lidzey, T. Virgili, Science Advances 8, abk3160 (2022).
  • Complete mapping of the thermoelectric properties of a single molecule, P. Gehring, J. K. Sowa, C. Hsu, J. de Bruijckere, M. van der Star, J. J. Le Roy, L. Bogani, E. M. Gauger & H. S. J. van der Zant, Nature Nanotechnology 16,426 (2021).
  • Understanding resonant charge transport through weakly coupled single-molecule junctionsJ, . O. Thomas, B. Limburg, J. K. Sowa, K. Willick, J. Baugh, G. A. D. Briggs, E. M. Gauger, H. L. Anderson, J. A. Mol, Nature Communications 10 4628 (2019).
  • Fundamental limits to coherent photon generation with solid-state atom-like transitions, Z. X. Koong, D. Scerri, M. Rambach, T. S. Santana, S. I. Park, E. M. Gauger, B. D. Gerardot, Physical Review Letters 123, 167402 (2019).
  • Light Harvesting with Guide-Slide Superabsorbing Condensed-Matter Nanostructures, W. M. Brown, E. M. Gauger, The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 10, 4323 (2019).
  • Attosecond-resolution Hong-Ou-Mandel interferometry, A. Lyons, G. C. Knee, E. Bolduc, T. Roger, J. Leach, E. M. Gauger, D. Faccio, Science Advances 4, eaap9416 (2018).
  • Projected gradient descent algorithms for quantum state tomography, E. Bolduc, G. C. Knee, E. M. Gauger, J. Leach, npj Quantum Information 3, 44 (2017).
  • Photocell Optimization Using Dark State Protection, A. Fruchtman, R. Gomez-Bombarelli, B. W. Lovett, E. M. Gauger, Physical Review Letters 117, 203603 (2016).
  • Superabsorption of light via quantum engineering, K. D. B. Higgins, S. C. Benjamin, T. Stace, G. J. Milburn, B. W. Lovett, E. M. Gauger, Nature Communications 5:4705 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms5705 (2014).
  • When amplification with weak values fails to suppress technical noise, G. C. Knee, E. M. Gauger, Physical Review X 4, 011032 (2014).
  • Violation of a Leggett-Garg inequality with ideal non-invasive measurements, G. C. Knee, S. Simmons, E. M. Gauger, J. J. L. Morton, H. Riemann, N. V. Abrosimov, P. Becker, H.-J. Pohl, K. M. Itoh, M. L. W. Thewalt, G. A. D. Briggs, S. C. Benjamin. Nature Communications 3:606 (doi: 10.1038/ncomms1614) (2012).
  • Proposed spin amplification for magnetic sensors employing crystal defects, M. Schaffry, E. M. Gauger, J. J. L. Morton, S. C. Benjamin. Physical Review Letters 107, 207210 (2011).
  • Sustained quantum coherence and entanglement in the avian compass, E. M. Gauger, E. Rieper, J. J. L. Morton, S. C. Benjamin, and V. Vedral. Physical Review Letters 106, 040503 (2011).

A complete list of publications with links can be found on

Google Scholar


Dr Erik M Gauger
Room DB 1.10
Institute of Photonics and Quantum Sciences
School of Engineering and Physical Sciences
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh EH14 4AS, United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)131 451 3345