Knolle Group

Theory of Quantum Matter

The focus of the group is on condensed matter systems in regimes in which the laws of quantum mechanics are important. In condensed matter physics complex behaviour arises from the interaction of a large number of basic degrees of freedom. It is fascinating to uncover the richness of this behaviour, and to understand the universal principles that organize the physical world. 

Our research has been centred around one of the great topics of modern physics — the search for unconventional quantum phases in correlated materials, e.g. Quantum Spin Liquids, Unconventional Superconductors or Topological Kondo Insulators. This search does not only lead to a deeper understanding of the fundamental principles driving these phases but has also practical relevance for future quantum technology. The underlying theme of our work is to bridge the gap between novel theories and actual experiments. Advances in the theory of topological phases of matter happen in parallel to developments in materials science. Our group combines both lines of research which is crucial for new discoveries. Our aim is to transfer abstract mathematics to experimentally relevant situations.

Selected Publications

  • Bond-Disordered Spin Liquid and the Honeycomb Iridate H3LiIr2O6: Abundant Low-Energy Density of States from Random Majorana Hopping
    J. Knolle, R. Moessner and N.B. Perkins
    Phys. Rev. Lett. 122, 047202 (2019).
  • Slow Growth of Out-of-Time-Order Correlators and Entanglement Entropy in Integrable Disordered Systems,
    Max McGinley, Andreas Nunnenkamp, and Johannes Knolle,
    Phys. Rev. Lett. 122, 020603 (2019).
  • A Field Guide to Spin Liquids,
    Johannes Knolle and Roderich Moessner,
    Annual Review of Condensed Matter Physics 10, 451-472 (2019).
  • Physics of the Kitaev model: fractionalization, dynamical correlations, and material connections,
    Maria Hermanns, Itamar Kimchi, Johannes Knolle,
    Annual Review of Condensed Matter Physics 9, 17-33 (2018).
  • Neutron scattering in the proximate quantum spin liquid α-RuCl3, 

    Arnab Banerjee, Jiaqiang Yan, Johannes Knolle, Craig A. Bridges, Matthew B. Stone, Mark D. Lumsden, David G. Mandrus, David A. Tennant, Roderich Moessner, Stephen E. Nagler,
    Science 356 (6342), 1055-1059 (2017).
  • Excitons in topological Kondo insulators — theory of thermodynamic and transport anomalies in SmB6,

    Johannes Knolle and Nigel R. Cooper, 

    Phys. Rev. Lett. 118, 096604 (2017).
  • Quantum oscillations without a Fermi surface and the anomalous de Haas-van Alphen effect,

    Johannes Knolle and Nigel R. Cooper, 

    Phys. Rev. Lett. 118, 176801 (2017).

Prof. Johannes Knolle


Department of Physics
Technical University of Munich
James-Franck-Straße 1
85748 Garching

Email: j.knolle(at)

Group Website