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Title: Proposal for a phase-coherent thermoelectric transistor

Identifying materials and devices which offer efficient thermoelectric effects at low temperature is a major obstacle for the development of thermal management strategies for low-temperature electronic systems. Superconductors cannot offer a solution since their near perfect electron-hole symmetry leads to a negligible thermoelectric response; however, here we demonstrate theoretically a superconducting thermoelectric transistor which offers unparalleled figures of merit of up to ∼45 and Seebeck coefficients as large as a few mV/K at sub-Kelvin temperatures. The device is also phase-tunable meaning its thermoelectric response for power generation can be precisely controlled with a small magnetic field. Our concept is based on a superconductor-normal metal-superconductor interferometer in which the normal metal weak-link is tunnel coupled to a ferromagnetic insulator and a Zeeman split superconductor. Upon application of an external magnetic flux, the interferometer enables phase-coherent manipulation of thermoelectric properties whilst offering efficiencies which approach the Carnot limit.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5]
  1. NEST, Instituto Nanoscienze-CNR and Scuola Normale Superiore, I-56127 Pisa (Italy)
  2. Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, University of Cambridge, 27 Charles Babbage Road, Cambridge CB3 0FS (United Kingdom)
  3. Department of Physics and Francis Bitter Magnet Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139 (United States)
  4. Centro de Física de Materiales (CFM-MPC), Centro Mixto CSIC-UPV/EHU, Manuel de Lardizabal 4, E-20018 San Sebastián (Spain)
  5. (DIPC), Manuel de Lardizabal 5, E-20018 San Sebastián (Spain)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22318008
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Applied Physics Letters; Journal Volume: 105; Journal Issue: 6; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; EFFICIENCY; INTERFEROMETERS; MAGNETIC FIELDS; MAGNETIC FLUX; SUPERCONDUCTORS; THERMOELECTRIC MATERIALS; THERMOELECTRIC PROPERTIES; TRANSISTORS; ZEEMAN EFFECT