Watch all our animations on our YouTube channel.

Twistronics: building moiré superlattices from 2D materials

9 January 2023

This animation is a follow up on our previous video on van der Waals heterostructures, 2D Materials Beyond Graphene.

When ultrathin two-dimensional materials are stacked together to build designer nanomaterials, they can be twisted relative to one another, such that the atoms in each layer line up differently. This twisting, which is not possible in most present-day thin film nanotechnology, can lead to enormous changes of the material properties. The great potential on offer has given rise to a new field of scientific research termed "twistronics", which seeks to discover new functionality by taking two-dimensional materials and adding a twist.

Written and directed by Tom Lyons in collaboration with Alexander Tartakovskii's research group. Produced by Gareth Jones,

Making quantum light with quantum dots

13 April 2022

This animation explores how we can use semiconductor “quantum dots” to create quantum light for applications in quantum communications, computing and sensing. A quantum dot is a nano-scale defect in a semiconductor that confines single charge particles (electrons).

This video shows how we make quantum dots and how we can use them as a source of single particles of light (photons) for quantum technologies. At the University of Sheffield, we are using these techniques to produce nano-photonic semiconductor chips to power the next generation of optical quantum technologies.

Topological quantum error correction

28 September 2018

How can we protect the fragile quantum states to make real-world quantum computing and applications? In this video we explain why qubits made of single particles are so sensitive and how, in principle, to go around this problem to make robust qubits.

Directed by Maksym Sich; written by Maksym Sich and Earl T. Campbell, design & animation by Gareth Jones,, music by Paul Blakeman and Jamie Holmes. Funding The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Grant EP/N031776/1.

2D materials beyond graphene

27 October 2016

In this animation, the next generation of optoelectronic devices based upon the physics and technology of layered 2D materials is presented. Since the discovery of graphene, a host of other 2D materials have been found with a wide range of different properties.

We explain the concept and unique properties of 2-dimensional materials and show that by layering different 2D materials into carefully constructed stacks, these properties can be combined to produce artificial materials known as van der Waals heterostructures with tailor-made properties. Our research group in Sheffield is actively contributing to these systems at the forefront of semiconductor research.

Quantum computation circuit using light on a chip

20 May 2015

In this animation we explain what a quantum bit (qubit) is and why a quantum computer can be better than a classical computer. We describe our vision of how to build a quantum computing circuit using light on a chip, which was the plan for our ESPRC Grant for 2011-2016.

What is a polariton

30 October 2014

The basic underlying physics of exciton-polariton formation in a semiconductor microcavity is explained in this short animation.

Fascinating fundamental effects can be observed in microcavity polariton systems, such as stimulated parametric scattering, non-equilibrium Bose-Einstein condensation and superfluidity.

We have a large research activity aimed at understanding and exploiting the light-matter interactions in exciton-polariton systems.

Hong-Ou-Mandel effect

2 July 2014

An animation describing the Hong-Ou-Mandel effect in photonic structures, a key component of photonic quantum information processing. We are developing miniaturised semiconductor structures like the one shown in the animation to demonstrate the Hong-Ou-Mandel effect.

Our overall goal is to interface static qubits (exciton or spin states in quantum dots) with flying qubits (photons), in order to demonstrate the key components of quantum networks.