Quantum Research Center’s Dr. Giampiero Marchegiani Co-authors Research Paper on Bipolar Thermoelectricity

Dr. Giampiero Marchegiani


We are pleased to share that Dr. Giampiero Marchegiani, Postdoctoral Researcher in the Quantum Physics division of Quantum Research Center (QRC) has recently co-authored a new scientific paper titled “Bipolar thermoelectric Josephson engine” along with other eminent quantum technology researchers from CNR-NANO in Pisa (SQEL led by Dr. Francesco Giazotto). The paper was published in Nature Nanotechnology, one of the highest profile - multidisciplinary, peer-reviewed scientific journals.

The paper reports a strong thermoelectric effect – generation of an electrical current using heat - in Josephson junctions that are the core elements of superconducting processors. This result constitutes the first experimental observation of bipolar thermoelectricity: for a fixed temperature gradient the device can generate either a positive or negative electrical signal with no additional control. This exotic behaviour is the result of a spontaneous particle–hole symmetry breaking, occurring for a sizable thermal gradient.

By integrating these junctions into a Josephson interferometer and thus realizing a bipolar thermoelectric Josephson engine (BTJE), the researchers were able to generate up to ~140nW/mm2 of electric power at subkelvin temperatures. This means that the BTJE engine may find immediate application in superconducting technology via the implementation of engines, power generators, electronic devices, memories, radiation sensors, and switches.

Dr. Marchegiani’s research efforts are pivotal in carrying out groundbreaking investigations of nonlinear thermoelectric effects. Outside the regime of superconductors, this works demonstrates an innovative way to generate power from thermal gradients. Further research may reveal this effect in different systems ranging from semiconductors and low-dimensional electronic materials to high-temperature superconductors and topological insulators.

QRC is dedicated to Quantum Technologies a field that is characterized by a particularly intimate connection between basic science and technological applications. Quantum Physics and QRC’s team of scientists, investigate the toughest questions and respond to critical challenges in a bid to strengthen UAE’s position in such highly strategic fields.