Summary: NEST Scientific Report 2007-2009
Thermal properties at the nanoscale: cooling and nonequilibrium
he understanding and the control of thermal properties is an interesting issue in
nanoscale systems . Due to their reduced sizes, out-of-equilibrium conditions can
be reached and exploited once the energy relaxation mechanisms are under control.
In this context electron cooling realized through electrostatic means is probably one of the
most relevant aspects. The prototype refrigeration scheme, operating around or below
1K, is based on superconductors, which are characterized by a poor thermal conductivity
in a well-defined energy widow. This yielded substantial electron temperature reduction
in metallic nanostructures. Our research interests in this field comprise both experimental
and theoretical activities and focussed on different aspects: novel refrigeration schemes,
manipulation of out-of-equilibrium conditions, study of relaxation mechanisms, and study of
thermal transport properties in the presence of superconducting correlations.
Several important open questions
concerning the cooling scheme based on
superconductors have been addressed.
On the experimental side, in the first
instance we have proposed a cyclic