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Nonlinear chiral refrigerators

David Sanchez, Rafael Sanchez, Rosa Lopez, Bjorn Sothmann

We investigate a mesoscopic refrigerator based on chiral quantum Hall edge channels. We discuss a three-terminal cooling device in which charge transport occurs between a pair of voltage-biased terminals only. The third terminal, which is to be cooled, is set as a voltage probe with vanishing particle flux. This largely prevents the generation of direct Joule heating which ensures a high coefficient of performance. Cooling operation is based on energy-dependent quantum transmissions. The latter are implemented with the aid of two tunable scattering resonances (quantum dots). To find the optimal performance point and the largest temperature difference created with our refrigerator, it is crucial to address the nonlinear regime of transport, accounting for electron-electron interaction effects. Our numerical simulations show that the maximal cooling power can be tuned with the quantum dot couplings and energy levels. Further, we provide analytical expressions within a weakly nonlinear scattering-matrix formalism which allow us to discuss the conditions for optimal cooling in terms of generalized thermopowers. Our results are important for the assessment of chiral conductors as promising candidates for efficient quantum refrigerators with low dissipation.

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ArXiv number: 1904.04506 DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.99.245304