Dramatic progress in controlling the placement of individual atomic scale defects in a variety of materials as well as advances in experimental probes to access these nanoscale structures has driven great interest in exploiting them to create the smallest possible device elements [1]. In particular, there has been growing interest in the magnetic properties of solitary dopant optoelectronic – or “solotronic” – systems and how they couple to the optical and electronic degrees of freedom. Recent exciting examples include measuring the lifetime of single phosphorous donors in silicon [2] and performing room temperature magnetic resonance imaging with nanometer scale resolution using nitrogen-vacancy centers in diamond [3].
Even more exotic possibilities can occur for solotronic systems in novel material hosts, such as Dirac materials like graphene and topological insulators and superconductors. Indeed, magnetic impurities on superconductors have recently been proposed as a model system for hosting the long sought after Majorana fermion [4].
In this five-day Summer School, students will have a unique opportunity to learn about the fundamentals of single dopants in both traditional semiconductor systems and more complex Dirac materials and topological insulators and superconductors. Extensive formal lectures on these subjects will be given by pioneering scientists who have played seminal roles in the development of these areas. Topics covered will include the foundational theoretical framework needed to describe these systems as well as the experimental techniques that are used to probe them and computational tools used to model the actual material systems. To supplement this, students will also be able to participate in less formal tutorial sessions on specially chosen focus topics. Students will also have an opportunity to share their own work in related areas during evening poster sessions, and to interact with the lecturers and with other participants during breaks and meals. All sessions will be held at the Lake Como School of Advanced Studies, situated on the picturesque shores of Lake Como, Italy.

[1] P.M. Koenraad and M. Flatté, Single Dopants in Semiconductors, Nature Materials 10, 91 (2011).
[2] A. Morello et al., Single-shot readout of an electron spin in silicon, Nature 467, 687 (2010)
[3] D. Rugar et al., Proton magnetic resonance imaging using a nitrogen–vacancy spin sensor, Nature Nanotechnology 10, 120 (2015)
[4] S. Nadj-perge et al., Observation of Majorana fermions in ferromagnetic atomic chains on a superconductor, Science 346, 602 (2014).


  • Carlo Canali (Linnaeus University)
  • Michael Flatté (University of Iowa)
  • Cyrus F. Hirjibehedin  (Department of Physics, UCL, London London Centre for  Nanotechnology, UCL, London)