Normal-metal-superconductor tunnel junction as a Brownian refrigerator

Jukka Pekola, Frank Hekking

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)
193 Downloads (Pure)


Thermal noise generated by a hot resistor (resistance R) can, under proper conditions, catalyze heat removal from a cold normal metal (N) in contact with a superconductor (S) via a tunnel barrier (I). Such a NIS junction is reminiscent of Maxwell’s demon, rectifying the heat flow. Upon reversal of the temperature gradient between the resistor and the junction, the heat fluxes are reversed: this presents a regime which is not accessible in an ordinary voltage-biased NIS structure. We obtain analytical results for the cooling performance in an idealized high impedance environment and perform numerical calculations for general R. We conclude by assessing the experimental feasibility of the proposed effect.
Original languageEnglish
Article number210604
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2007
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Brownian refrigerator
  • normal-metal-superconductor
  • tunnel junction


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