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Record spintronic harvesting of thermal fluctuations using paramagnetic molecular centers

By Bhavishya Chowrira, Lalit Kandpal, Damien Mertz, Christophe Kieber, Armel Bahouka, Romain Bernard, Loic Joly, Elmer Monteblanco, Sambit Mohapatra, Emmanuel Sternitzky, Victor Da Costa, Michel Hehn, Francois Montaigne, Bertrand Vileno, Fadi Choueikani, Philippe Ohresser, Daniel Lacour, Wolfgang Weber, Samy Boukari and Martin Bowen


Several experiments have suggested that building a quantum engine using the electron spin enables the harvesting of thermal fluctuations on paramagnetic centers even though the device is at thermal equilibrium. We illustrate this thermodynamics conundrum through measurements on several devices of large output power, which endures beyond room temperature. We've inserted the Co paramagnetic center in Co phthalocyanine molecules between electron spin-selecting Fe/C60 interfaces within vertical molecular nanojunctions. We observe output power as high as 450nW(24nW) at 40K(360K), which leapfrogs previous results, as well as classical spintronic energy harvesting strategies involving a thermal gradient. Our data links magnetic correlations between the fluctuating paramagnetic centers and output power. This device class also behaves as a spintronically controlled switch of current flow, and of its direction. We discuss the conceptual challenges raised by these measurements. Better understanding the phenomenon and further developing this technology could help accelerate the transition to clean energy.Comment:

Topics: Condensed Matter - Mesoscale and Nanoscale Physics
Year: 2020
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