A Caltech Library Service

Thermal conductance through discrete quantum channels

Schwab, K. and Arlett, J. L. and Worlock, J. M. and Roukes, M. L. (2001) Thermal conductance through discrete quantum channels. Physica E, 9 (1). pp. 60-68. ISSN 1386-9477. doi:10.1016/S1386-9477(00)00178-8.

Full text is not posted in this repository. Consult Related URLs below.

Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


We have observed a quantized limiting value of the thermal conductance for each propagating phonon channel in a one-dimensional (1D), ballistic phonon waveguide: g_0=π^2k_B^2T/3h. To achieve this we have developed nanostructures with full three-dimensional relief that incorporate integral thermometers and heaters. These devices are comprised of an isolated thermal reservoir (phonon cavity) suspended above the sample substrate by four narrow insulating beams (phonon waveguides) with lateral dimensions ∼100 nm. We employ DC SQUID noise thermometry to measure the temperature of the phonon cavity non-perturbatively. Direct electrical contact from the suspended nanostructure to the room-temperature environment, crucial for these experiments, is attained by means of a very significant level of electrical filtering. These first experiments provide access to the mesoscopic regime for phonons, and open intriguing future possibilities for exploring thermal transport in very small systems. We are currently adapting and improving the ultrasensitive, extremely low dissipation DC SQUID techniques utilized in this work toward the ultimate goal of detecting individual thermal phonons.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Schwab, K.0000-0001-8216-4815
Roukes, M. L.0000-0002-2916-6026
Additional Information:© 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. Available online 13 December 2000. We thank M.C. Cross, R. Lifshitz, G. Kirczenow, and M. Blencowe, N. Wingreen, M. Lilly, and P. Burke for discussions, suggestions, and insights, and N. Bruckner for assisting in the growth of the low-stress silicon nitride at the University of California, Berkeley Microfabrication Laboratory. We thank M.B. Ketchen and members of the IBM Yorktown superconductivity group for advice, assistance, and the DC SQUID devices employed in our cryogenic electronics. One of us, J.A., would like to acknowledge the support of NSERC. Finally, we gratefully acknowledge the support from DARPA MTO/MEMS and NSF/DMR that enabled this work.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)UNSPECIFIED
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Quantized thermal conductance; Phonons; Nanostructures; Mesoscopics
Issue or Number:1
Classification Code:PACS: 05.60.Gg; 63.22.+m; 66.70.+f; 85.30.Vw
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160523-074636767
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:K Schwab, J.L Arlett, J.M Worlock, M.L Roukes, Thermal conductance through discrete quantum channels, Physica E: Low-dimensional Systems and Nanostructures, Volume 9, Issue 1, January 2001, Pages 60-68, ISSN 1386-9477, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:67239
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:23 May 2016 22:23
Last Modified:11 Nov 2021 00:29

Repository Staff Only: item control page