Document Detail

Heat dissipation in atomic-scale junctions.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23765496     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Process    
Atomic and single-molecule junctions represent the ultimate limit to the miniaturization of electrical circuits. They are also ideal platforms for testing quantum transport theories that are required to describe charge and energy transfer in novel functional nanometre-scale devices. Recent work has successfully probed electric and thermoelectric phenomena in atomic-scale junctions. However, heat dissipation and transport in atomic-scale devices remain poorly characterized owing to experimental challenges. Here we use custom-fabricated scanning probes with integrated nanoscale thermocouples to investigate heat dissipation in the electrodes of single-molecule ('molecular') junctions. We find that if the junctions have transmission characteristics that are strongly energy dependent, this heat dissipation is asymmetric--that is, unequal between the electrodes--and also dependent on both the bias polarity and the identity of the majority charge carriers (electrons versus holes). In contrast, junctions consisting of only a few gold atoms ('atomic junctions') whose transmission characteristics show weak energy dependence do not exhibit appreciable asymmetry. Our results unambiguously relate the electronic transmission characteristics of atomic-scale junctions to their heat dissipation properties, establishing a framework for understanding heat dissipation in a range of mesoscopic systems where transport is elastic--that is, without exchange of energy in the contact region. We anticipate that the techniques established here will enable the study of Peltier effects at the atomic scale, a field that has been barely explored experimentally despite interesting theoretical predictions. Furthermore, the experimental advances described here are also expected to enable the study of heat transport in atomic and molecular junctions--an important and challenging scientific and technological goal that has remained elusive.
Woochul Lee; Kyeongtae Kim; Wonho Jeong; Linda Angela Zotti; Fabian Pauly; Juan Carlos Cuevas; Pramod Reddy
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Nature     Volume:  498     ISSN:  1476-4687     ISO Abbreviation:  Nature     Publication Date:  2013 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-06-14     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0410462     Medline TA:  Nature     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  209-12     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109, USA.
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