Professional Course

Introduction to Quantum Transport

edX, Online
5 weeks
5 weeks
Visit this course's homepage on the provider's site to learn more or book!

Course description

Introduction to Quantum Transport

This course introduces the Schrödinger equation, using the tight-binding method to discuss the concept of bandstructure and E(k) relations, followed by an introduction to the NEGF method with simple illustrative examples. Concept of spinors is introduced along with the application of the NEGF method to spintronic devices.

No prior background in quantum mechanics or statistical mechanics is assumed.

Verified tudents taking this course will be required to complete three (3) proctored exams using the edX online Proctortrack software. To be sure your computer is compatible, see Proctortrack Technical Requirements

Nanoscience and Technology MicroMasters ®

Introduction to Quantum Transport is one course in a growing suite of unique, one-credit-hour short courses developed in an edX/Purdue University collaboration. Students may elect to pursue a verified certificate for this specific course alone or as one of the six courses needed for the edX/Purdue MicroMasters® program in Nanoscience and Technology.

Who should attend?


Students in engineering or the physical sciences, specifically differential equations and linear algebra.

Training content

Week 1: Schrödinger Equation

  • 1.1 Introduction
  • 1.2 Wave Equation
  • 1.3 Differential to Matrix Equation
  • 1.4 Dispersion Relation
  • 1.5 Counting States

Week 2: Schrödinger Equation (continued)

  • 1.6 Beyond 1D
  • 1.7 Lattice with a Basis
  • 1.8 Graphene
  • 1.9 Reciprocal Lattice/Valleys
  • 1.10 Summing Up

Week 3: Contact-ing Schrödinger & Examples

  • 2.1 Introduction
  • 2.2 Semiclassical Model
  • 2.3 Quantum Model
  • 2.4 NEGF Equations
  • 2.5 Bonus Lecture, NOT covered on exams
  • 2.6 Scattering Theory

Week 4: Contact-ing Schrödinger & Examples (continued)

  • 2.7 Transmission
  • 2.8 Resonant Tunneling
  • 2.9 Dephasing
  • 2.10 Summing Up
  • 3.1 Bonus Lecture, NOT covered on exams
  • 3.2 Quantum Point Contact
  • 3.3 - 3.10 Bonus Lectures, NOT covered on exams

Week 5: Spin Transport

  • 4.1 Introduction
  • 4.2 Magnetic Contacts
  • 4.3 Rotating Contacts
  • 4.4 Vectors and Spinors
  • 4.5 - 4.6 Bonus Lectures NOT covered on exams
  • 4.7 Spin Density/Current
  • 4.8-4.10 Bonus Lectures NOT covered on exams

Text: S. Datta, “Lessons from Nanoelectronics”, Part B: Quantum Transport, World Scientific, Second Edition 2017

The manuscript will be available for download in the course.

Course delivery details

This course is offered through Purdue University, a partner institute of EdX.

8-9 hours per week


  • Verified Track -$750
  • Audit Track - Free

Certification / Credits

What you'll learn

  • The Schrödinger equation
  • How the tight-binding model works
  • The concept of bandstructure and E(k) relations
  • Self-energy
  • Broadening
  • NEGF equations
  • Dephasing

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141 Portland Street
02139 Cambridge Massachusetts


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