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Selective energy filtering in a multiple-quantum-well nanodevice: the quantumcascade cooler

Publication in Physical Review Applied!

Using quantum transport simulations, we study the operating principle of a proposed quantum cascade cooler (QCC), a multiple-quantum-well structure whose cooling capabilities rely on combined resonant tunneling and thermionic-emission filtering. We couple charge and heat transport by self-consistently solving nonequilibrium Green’s functions and the heat equation, and we subsequently calculate the thermodynamic properties of the electrons using noninvasive virtual probes. We show that this device exhibits bias-dependent electron-temperature oscillations emerging from electron-phonon interactions and intersubband transitions. Finally, we show the advantages of a multiple-quantum-well structure over a single quantum well (SQW) and discuss the actual potential for such a structure to effectively cool down the crystal lattice upon optimization.





Fig. 1: Local density of states (colormap) and potential profile (green solid line) of (a) an QCC and (b) a SQW for a voltage bias of V = 0.175 V. The zero of energy is set to the emitter Fermi energy.


Ref : G. Etesse, C. Salhani, X. Zhu, N. Cavassilas, K. Hirakawa, and M. Bescond, "Selective energy filtering in a multiple-quantum-well nanodevice: The quantum cascade cooler," Phys. Rev. Appl. 21, 054010 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevApplied.21.054010

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