Station Q Santa Barbara

Station Q Santa Barbara is a Microsoft Research lab located on the campus of the University of California, Santa Barbara focused on studies of topological quantum computing. The lab combines researchers from mathematics, physics and computer science and collaborates with academic researchers both locally and around the world to understand how topological phases of matter can be used to build a robust, scalable quantum computing architecture. The group was founded by Dr. Michael Freedman, a renowned mathematician who has won the prestigious Fields Medal, the highest honor in mathematics, for his work on the topology of four-dimensional manifolds.

Our current work focuses on topological phases of matter, which are exotic states of matter formed at lowest temperatures by strongly interacting quantum particles. The most prominent example of such a phase is the fractional quantum Hall effect discovered in the early 1980’s, but recent years have seen striking theoretical and experimental advances towards other topological phases that promise to be useful for quantum computation. The most prominent example are the celebrated Majorana zero modes, whose relevance to quantum computing was first realized by Alexei Kitaev (then at Microsoft Research) in 2001. Since 2012, overwhelming experimental evidence has been collected for their presence in certain one-dimensional superconductor-semiconductor heterostructures. For more details on these systems, see our background articles.

Topological quantum computation is a unique field where the connection from theory – both mathematics and theoretical physics – to experiments is very close, and researchers from different backgrounds can work hand in hand towards a common goal. Our work at Station Q Santa Barbara encompasses this whole range of research from the mathematical description and classification of these phases to guiding our experimental collaborators towards practical implementations of topological qubits.

Official website

Our location

loading map - please wait...

  34.413963, -119.848947

Located in Santa Barbara, CA

Career opportunities

Meet our team

Maissam Barkeshli
Maissam BarkeshliPost-Doctoral Researcher
Theoretical Physics
Bela Bauer
Bela BauerResearcher
Computational Physics and Condensed Matter Theory
Parsa Bonderson
Parsa Bonderson Senior Researcher
Theoretical Physics
Meng Cheng
Meng ChengPost-Doctoral Researcher
Condensed Matter Theory
Michael Freedman
Michael FreedmanManaging Director
Quantum Computing, Physics, and Topology
Matthew Hastings
Matthew Hastings Principal Researcher
Theoretical Physics and Quantum Computing
Torsten Karzig
Torsten KarzigPost-Doctoral Researcher
Condensed Matter Theory
Dong Liu
Dong LiuPost-Doctoral Researcher
Condensed Matter Theory
Roman Lutchyn
Roman LutchynSenior Researcher
Condensed Matter Theory
Chetan Nayak
Chetan NayakPrincipal Researcher
Condensed Matter Theory

Kevin Walker
Kevin WalkerSenior Researcher
Quantum Topology

Zhenghan Wang
Zhenghan WangPrincipal Researcher
Quantum Topology

Michael Zaletel
Michael ZaletelPost-Doctoral Researcher
Computational Physics and Condensed Matter Theory