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Direct Probe of the Seebeck Coefficient in a Kondo-Correlated Single-Quantum-Dot Transistor

Bivas Dutta, Danial Majidi, Alvaro Garcia Corral, Paolo A. Erdman, Serge Florens, Theo A. Costi, Hervé Courtois, Clemens Winkelmann

We report on the first measurement of the Seebeck coefficient in a tunnel-contacted and gate-tunable individual single-quantum dot junction in the Kondo regime, fabricated using the electromigration technique. This fundamental thermoelectric parameter is obtained by directly monitoring the magnitude of the voltage induced in response to a temperature difference across the junction, while keeping a zero net tunneling current through the device. In contrast to bulk materials and single molecules probed in a scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) configuration, investigating the thermopower in nanoscale electronic transistors benefits from the electric tunability to showcase prominent quantum effects. Here, striking sign changes of the Seebeck coefficient are induced by varying the temperature, depending on the spin configuration in the quantum dot. The comparison with numerical renormalization group (NRG) calculations demonstrates that the tunneling density of states is generically asymmetric around the Fermi level in the leads, both in the cotunneling and Kondo regimes.

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