Controlling heat and particle currents in nanodevices by quantum observation

npj Quantum Materials 2, 38 (2017)

Controlling heat and particle currents in nanodevices by quantum observation

Robert Biele, César A. Rodríguez-Rosario, Thomas Frauenheim, Angel Rubio

We demonstrate that in a standard thermo-electric nanodevice the current and heat flows are not only dictated by the temperature and potential gradient but also by the external action of a local quantum observer that controls the coherence of the device. Depending on how and where the observation takes place the direction of heat and particle currents can be independently controlled. In fact, we show that the current and heat flow can go against the natural temperature and voltage gradients. Dynamical quantum measurement offers new possibilities for the control of quantum transport far beyond classical thermal reservoirs. Through the concept of local projections, we illustrate how we can create and directionality control the injection of currents (electronic and heat) in nanodevices. This scheme provides novel strategies to construct quantum devices with application in thermoelectrics, spintronic injection, phononics, and sensing among others. In particular, highly efficient and selective spin injection might be achieved by local spin projection techniques.

Additional Information

Doi
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41535-017-0043-6
arxiv
http://arxiv.org/abs/1611.08471

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