Superconductors are materials that can achieve a state known as superconductivity, in which matter has no electrical resistance and does not allow the penetration of magnetic fields. At low temperatures, these materials are known to be highly effective thermal insulators and, due to the so-called proximity effect, they can also influence the density of states of nearby metallic or superconducting wires.
Researchers at Istituto Nanoscienze (CNR) and Scuola Normale Superiore in Italy have recently developed a transistor that takes advantage of this specific quality of superconductors. Their transistor, dubbed a thermal superconducting quantum interference proximity transistor (T-SQUIPT), was introduced in a paper published in Nature Physics.
"Our work lies in the frame of phase-coherent caloritronics that aims to envision and realize devices able to master the energy transfer in different nano-scale quantum technology architectures," Francesco Giazotto, one of the researchers who carried out the study, told Phys.org.
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