Servicio de Información Comunitario sobre Investigación y Desarrollo - CORDIS

Periodic Report Summary 1 - 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 it 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.
During the first half of the project we have achieved important results in both main research themes. We have proposed a unified approach to describe in a full quantum way the energy that is exchanges and dissipated between quantum systems. This allows the identification of quantum work and quantum heat contributions.
We are now starting to analyze the implications and advantages of this result. We have studied the feasibility of the implementation on circuit QED systems and we are in contact with Prof. Andreas Walraff at ETH in Zurich for a possible experimental realization.
For the more applicative part of the project, we have proposed a device able to generate extremely precise sequence of voltage pulses and, more recently, a new device that can act as a “thermal transistor” and “thermal memory”. Here, the usual electronic (current) bits are replaced by thermal bits distinguishable because of different heat powers generated.
Because of the direct involvement of Dr. Francesco Giazotto’s group (NEST, Pisa) these ideas will be tested soon in the laboratory. In particular, the proposal for a thermal device is already in an advanced stage of experimental realization and we expect to have the first results within the year 2016.
Thanks to the CIG grant, the fellow, Dr. Paolo Solinas, has been able to hire three post-doc researchers. Dr. Riccardo Bosisio worked at the project until December 2015 and Dr. Matteo Carrega who will work at the project until September 2016.
A new postdoc Dr. Claudio Guarcello, paid with the project funds, has started in the group in February 2016.

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