Recently thermoelectric systems have been extensively investigated since the growing interests in the field of quantum thermodynamics and in studying of thermal transport at the nanoscale.
In a two-terminal system, a necessary condition for thermoelectricity in the linear regime – i.e., for a small voltage V and a small temperature bias ∆T – is breaking the electron-hole symmetry which results in the transport property I(V, ∆T) ≠ −I(−V, ∆T), where I is the charge current flowing through the two-terminal system.
In a new research paper “Nonlinear thermoelectricity with electron-hole symmetric systems” published on “Physical Review Letters” by G. Marchegiani, A. Braggio e F. Giazotto, we demonstrate that this condition is no longer required outside the linear regime. Even a prototype system like a tunnel junction between two different superconductors, can exhibit nonlinear thermo-electric effect based on the spontaneous breaking of electron-hole symmetry in the system.
“The next step will be the experimental realization of this effect and further theoretical investigations of this new discovered mechanism”.commented F. Giazotto
Check out also the Italian press release!