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Harvesting dissipated energy with a mesoscopic ratchet

B. Roche 1 P. Roulleau 1, * T. Jullien 1 Y. Jompol 1 I. Farrer 2 D.A. Ritchie 2 D.C. Glattli 3, 1
* Corresponding author
3 GNE - Groupe Nano-Electronique
SPEC - UMR3680 - Service de physique de l'état condensé, IRAMIS - Institut Rayonnement Matière de Saclay
Abstract : The search for new efficient thermoelectric devices converting waste heat into electrical energy is of major importance. The physics of mesoscopic electronic transport offers the possibility to develop a new generation of nanoengines with high efficiency. Here we describe an all-electrical heat engine harvesting and converting dissipated power into an electrical current. Two capacitively coupled mesoscopic conductors realized in a two-dimensional conductor form the hot source and the cold converter of our device. In the former, controlled Joule heating generated by a voltage-biased quantum point contact results in thermal voltage fluctuations. By capacitive coupling the latter creates electric potential fluctuations in a cold chaotic cavity connected to external leads by two quantum point contacts. For unequal quantum point contact transmissions, a net electrical current is observed proportional to the heat produced.
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B. Roche, P. Roulleau, T. Jullien, Y. Jompol, I. Farrer, et al.. Harvesting dissipated energy with a mesoscopic ratchet. Nature Communications, Nature Publishing Group, 2015, 6, pp.6738. ⟨10.1038/ncomms7738⟩. ⟨cea-01366531⟩

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