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Department of Physics

The Cavendish Laboratory


Chris Ford completed his MA and PhD at the University of Cambridge, before working for a year at the IBM T J Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, USA, with Alan Fowler. He returned to Cambridge to a Research Fellowship at Girton College, and then became a lecturer at the Cavendish Laboratory. He is now Professor of Quantum Electronics in the Semiconductor Physics Group. His expertise includes device fabrication, electron-beam lithography, low-temperature measurement, surface acoustic waves, and the physics of electron transport in low-dimensional systems, particularly related to electron-electron interactions.



Prof. Ford's experimental group investigates the use of surface acoustic waves passing through narrow channels to move and process quantum bits ("qubits") of information. He is currently working on the following topics, among others:

  • generating and detecting single photons with Surface Acoustic Waves (SAWs)
  • moving single-electron quantum dots carried by Surface Acoustic Waves (SAWs)
  • the nonlinear extension of the Luttinger liquid and other interaction effects in 1D wires
  • quantum transport and thermoelectricity in self-assembled monolayers of nanocrystals or designer molecules

In the past, Prof. Ford has also worked on, for example,

  • mesoscopic effects in hole gases
  • fractional quantum Hall effect, particularly edge states in the fractional quantum Hall regime
  • 1D wires in undoped electron and hole gases
  • the Aharonov-Bohm effect
  • spin-related interactions in single quantum antidots
  • Coulomb blockade in quantum dots
  • the quenching of the Hall effect


Key publications: 

See the full publication list, and profile on Google Scholar.

Single-photon emission from single-electron transport in a SAW-driven lateral light-emitting diode”, Hsiao T-K., Rubino A., Chung Y., Son S-K., Hou H., Pedros J., Nasir A., Ethier-Majcher G., Stanley M. J., Phillips R. T., Mitchell T. A., Griffiths J. P., Farrer I., Ritchie D. A. and Ford C. J. B., Nat. Commun., 11, 917 (2020).

Quantized charge transport driven by a surface acoustic wave in induced unipolar and bipolar junctions”, Chung Y., Hou H., Son S. -K., Hsiao T. -K., Nasir A., Rubino A., Griffiths J. P., Farrer I., Ritchie D. A. and Ford C. J. B., Phys. Rev. B, 100, 245401 (2019).

Sound-driven single-electron transfer in a circuit of coupled quantum rails”, Takada S., Edlbauer H., Lepage H. V., Wang J., Mortemousque P-A., Georgiou G., Barnes C. H. W., Ford C. J. B., Yuan M., Santos P. V., Waintal X., Ludwig A., Wieck A. D., Urdampilleta M., Meunier T. and Bauerle C., Nat. Commun., 10, 4557 (2019).

Momentum-dependent power law measured in an interacting quantum wire beyond the Luttinger limit”, Jin Y., Tsyplyatyev O., Moreno M., Anthore A., Tan W. K., Griffiths J. P., Farrer I., Ritchie D. A., Glazman L. I., Schofield A. J. and Ford C. J. B., Nat. Commun., 10, 2821 (2019).

Quantized conductance of one-dimensional strongly correlated electrons in an oxide heterostructure”, Hou H., Kozuka Y., Jun-Wei Liao, Smith L. W., Kos D., Griffiths J. P., Falson J., Tsukazaki A., Kawasaki M. and Ford C. J. B., Phys. Rev. B, 99, 121302 (2019).

Electrically Controlled Nano and Micro Actuation in Memristive Switching Devices with On-Chip Gas Encapsulation”, Kos D., Astier H. P. A. G., Martino G. Di, Mertens J., Ohadi H., Fazio D. De, Yoon D., Zhao Z., Kuhn A., Ferrari A. C., Ford C. J. B. and Baumberg J. J., Small, 14, 1801599 (2018).

Surface acoustic wave modulation of a coherently driven quantum dot in a pillar microcavity”, Villa B., Bennett A. J., Ellis D. J. P., Lee J. P., Skiba-Szymanska J., Mitchell T. A., Griffiths J. P., Farrer I., Ritchie D. A., Ford C. J. B. and Shields A. J., Appl. Phys. Lett., 111, 011103 (2017).

Transporting and manipulating single electrons in surface-acoustic-wave minima”, Ford C. J. B., Phys. Status Solidi B, 254, 1600658 (2017).

Nonlinear spectra of spinons and holons in short GaAs quantum wires”, Moreno M., Ford C. J. B., Jin Y., Griffiths J. P., Farrer I., Jones G. A. C., Ritchie D. A., Tsyplyatyev O. and Schofield A. J., Nat. Commun., 7, 12784 (2016).


Professor of Quantum Electronics
Professorial Fellow of Girton College
Professor Chris  Ford

Contact Details

Email address: 
Room 330, Mott Building
Cavendish Laboratory
JJ Thomson Avenue
+44 (0)1223 337486


Person keywords: 
Quantum Devices and Measurements
Experimental condensed matter physics
Quantum Information
Emergent Quantum Phenomena
low dimensions