Energy Transport and Energy Conversion at the Nano-scale

When: Thursday, March 29, 2012 at 4:00 pm
Where: DA 114
Speaker: Yonatan Dubi
Organization: Landa Labs, Israel
Sponsor: Physics Colloquium

Finding new ways and improving old ways for energy conversion are a necessity if we are to face the future global energy challenges. One of the most promising and fascinating channels for achieving these goals is the use of nano-scale junctions for energy conversion, for example by utilizing thermo-electric effects. Understanding the processes that affect the energy transport and conversion at the nano-scale are thus a necessary mile-stone, and form a great challenge, both experimentally and theoretically. In this talk we review some recent advances in the theory of energy transport and conversion in nano-junctions. We describe several novel theories which have been developed for studying thermo-electric effects in nano-junctions, temperature distributions, energy transport in DNA nano-junctions, and energy to magnetization current conversion. These theories can be used to study basic physical phenomena (for instance local temperature fluctuations, the onset of Fourier’s law, DNA denaturation etc.) and can also lead to novel concepts and devices for energy transport and conversion such as thermal switches and thermal diodes.

Refs:

  • Y. Dubi and M. Di Ventra, “Colloquium: Heat flow and thermoelectricity in atomic and molecular junctions”, Rev. Mod. Phys. 83, 131 (2011).
  • Y. Dubi and M. Di ventra, “Thermoelectric effects in nano-scale junctions”, Nano Letters 9, 97 (2009).
  • K. Velizhanin, C.-C. Chien, Y. Dubi and M. Zwolak, Phys. Rev. 83, 050906 (2011).
  • Y. Dubi and M. Di Ventra, Phys. Rev. B 79, 081302 (2009).