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Bipolar thermoelectricity in S/I/NS and S/I/SN superconducting tunnel junctions

AuthorsHijano, Alberto CSIC ORCID CVN; Bergeret, F. S. CSIC ORCID; Giazotto, Francesco; Braggio, Alessandro
Issue Date2023
PublisherAmerican Institute of Physics
CitationApplied Physics Letters 122(24): 24260 (2023)
AbstractRecent studies have shown the potential for bipolar thermoelectricity in superconducting tunnel junctions with asymmetric energy gaps. The thermoelectric performance of these systems is significantly impacted by the inverse proximity effects present in the normal-superconducting bilayer, which is utilized to adjust the gap asymmetry in the junction. Here, we identify the most effective bilayer configurations, and we find that directly tunnel-coupling the normal metal side of the cold bilayer with the hot superconductor is more advantageous compared to the scheme used in experiments. By utilizing quasiclassical equations, we examined the nonlinear thermoelectric junction performance as a function of the normal metal film thickness and the quality of the normal-superconducting interface within the bilayer, thereby determining the optimal design to observe and maximize this nonequilibrium effect. Our results offer a roadmap to achieve improved thermoelectric performance in superconducting tunnel junctions, with promising implications for a number of applications.
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