230 research outputs found

    Towards phase-coherent caloritronics in superconducting circuits

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    The emerging field of phase-coherent caloritronics (from the Latin word "calor", i.e., heat) is based on the possibility to control heat currents using the phase difference of the superconducting order parameter. The goal is to design and implement thermal devices able to master energy transfer with a degree of accuracy approaching the one reached for charge transport by contemporary electronic components. This can be obtained by exploiting the macroscopic quantum coherence intrinsic to superconducting condensates, which manifests itself through the Josephson and the proximity effect. Here, we review recent experimental results obtained in the realization of heat interferometers and thermal rectifiers, and discuss a few proposals for exotic non-linear phase-coherent caloritronic devices, such as thermal transistors, solid-state memories, phase-coherent heat splitters, microwave refrigerators, thermal engines and heat valves. Besides being very attractive from the fundamental physics point of view, these systems are expected to have a vast impact on many cryogenic microcircuits requiring energy management, and possibly lay the first stone for the foundation of electronic thermal logic.Comment: 11 pages, 6 colour figure

    On-Chip Cooling by Heating with Superconducting Tunnel Junctions

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    Heat management and refrigeration are key concepts for nanoscale devices operating at cryogenic temperatures. The design of an on-chip mesoscopic refrigerator that works thanks to the input heat is presented, thus realizing a solid state implementation of the concept of cooling by heating. The system consists of a circuit featuring a thermoelectric element based on a ferromagnetic insulator-superconductor tunnel junction (N-FI-S) and a series of two normal metal-superconductor tunnel junctions (SINIS). The N-FI-S element converts the incoming heat in a thermovoltage, which is applied to the SINIS, thereby yielding cooling. The cooler's performance is investigated as a function of the input heat current for different bath temperatures. We show that this system can efficiently employ the performance of SINIS refrigeration, with a substantial cooling of the normal metal island. Its scalability and simplicity in the design makes it a promising building block for low-temperature on-chip energy management applications.Comment: 7 pages, 6 figure

    Parasitic effects in SQUID-based radiation comb generators

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    We study several parasitic effects on the implementation of a Josephson radiation comb generator (JRCG) based on a dc superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) driven by an external magnetic field. This system can be used as a radiation generator similarly to what is done in optics and metrology, and allows one to generate up to several hundreds of harmonics of the driving frequency. First we take into account how assuming a finite loop geometrical inductance and junction capacitance in each SQUID may alter the operation of this device. Then, we estimate the effect of imperfections in the fabrication of an array of SQUIDs, which is an unavoidable source of errors in practical situations. We show that the role of the junction capacitance is in general negligible, whereas the geometrical inductance has a beneficial effect on the performance of the device. The errors on the areas and junction resistance asymmetries may deteriorate the performance, but their effect can be limited up to a large extent with a suitable choice of fabrication parameters.Comment: 9 pages, 9 figure

    A Microwave Josephson Refrigerator

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    We present a microwave quantum refrigeration principle based on the Josephson effect. When a superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) is pierced by a time-dependent magnetic flux, it induces changes in the macroscopic quantum phase and an effective finite bias voltage appears across the SQUID. This voltage can be used to actively cool well below the lattice temperature one of the superconducting electrodes forming the interferometer. The achievable cooling performance combined with the simplicity and scalability intrinsic to the structure pave the way to a number of applications in quantum technology.Comment: 6 pages, 3 figure

    Balanced double-loop mesoscopic interferometer based on Josephson proximity nanojunctions

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    We report on the fabrication and characterization of a two-terminal mesoscopic interferometer based on three V/Cu/V Josephson junctions having nanoscale cross-section. The junctions have been arranged in a double-ring geometry realized by metallic thin film deposition through a suspended mask defined by electron beam lithography. Although a significant amount of asymmetry between the critical current of each junction is observed we show that the interferometer is able to suppress the supercurrent to a level lower than 6 parts per thousand, being here limited by measurement resolution. The present nano-device is suitable for low-temperature magnetometric and gradiometric measurements over the micrometric scale.Comment: 5 pages, 4 figure

    Phase-Tunable Temperature Amplifier

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    Coherent caloritronics, the thermal counterpart of coherent electronics, has drawn growing attention since the discovery of heat interference in 2012. Thermal interferometers, diodes, transistors and nano-valves have been theoretically proposed and experimentally demonstrated by exploiting the quantum phase difference between two superconductors coupled through a Josephson junction. So far, the quantum-phase modulator has been realized in the form of a superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) or a superconducting quantum interference proximity transistor (SQUIPT). Thence, an external magnetic field is necessary in order to manipulate the heat transport. Here, we theoretically propose the first on-chip fully thermal caloritronic device: the phase-tunable temperature amplifier. Taking advantage of a recent thermoelectric effect discovered in spin-split superconductors coupled to a spin-polarized system, by a temperature gradient we generate the magnetic flux controlling the transport through a temperature biased SQUIPT. By employing commonly used materials and a geometry compatible with state-of-the-art nano-fabrication techniques, we simulate the behavior of the temperature amplifier and define a number of figures of merit in full analogy with voltage amplifiers. Notably, our architecture ensures infinite input thermal impedance, maximum gain of about 11 and efficiency reaching the 95%. This device concept could represent a breakthrough in coherent caloritronic devices, and paves the way for applications in radiation sensing, thermal logics and quantum information.Comment: 7 pages, 3 figure
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