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Coherent heat and energy transport in quantum systems

Final Report Summary - COHEAT (Coherent heat and energy transport in quantum systems)

In the rush toward miniaturization of the electronic devices we are quickly approaching the limit where quantum effect cannot be neglected anymore. This requires a drastic cultural change in the design and project of future devices.
The fact that we have to face new phenomena can slow down the technological pace but it can also open new opportunities since quantum effects could be exploited to improve the performance of specific tasks.
In this direction, it becomes particularly important to understand how energy is exchanged and dissipated at quantum level. The possibility to store, manipulate and transfer energy efficiently in quantum systems can have huge technological impact.
The object of the COHEAT project is to investigate both the more fundamental and applicative open questions about the energy exchange at quantum level. Our main goal is to clarify if and when quantum effects can influence the energy exchange and propose realistic devices to exploit the related phenomena. COHEAT is a theoretical project but with strong connections with the experiments. On the one hand, it proposes new ideas and models in the field of coherent energy transport in quantum systems. On the other hand, it gives supports to world leading experimental groups in the planning, design and optimization of the experiments.
The first part of the project has laid the foundations for a unified approach to describe in a full quantum way how the energy is exchanges and dissipated between quantum systems. For the more applicative part of the project, we have proposed several devices able to manipulate the heat in superconducting nanosystems.
These themes and results have been further expanded and developed and important results have been obtained. We have shown that the work at quantum level presents different features than the one at classical level. In particular, the effects of the detector on the system and the way to avoid them have been clarified. In collaboration with the experimental group led by Francesco Giazotto in Pisa, we have experimentally implemented a device that can be considered as an important step for the accurate manipulation of heat in superconductor. These combined results could lead to new efficient ways to manipulate the energy in quantum systems.
Thanks to the CIG grant, the fellow, Dr. Paolo Solinas, has been able to hire two post-doc researchers. Dr. Matteo Carrega worked at the project until September 2016 and Dr. Claudio Guarcello, worked at the project from February 2016 to March 2017.