Heat Transport Through Josephson Point Contacts
Erhai Zhao, Tomas Löfwander and J. A. Sauls
- Address: Department of Physics & Astronomy, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208
- Date: August 23, 2003
Physical Reivew B 69, 134503 (2004)
We present a comprehensive study of heat transport through small superconducting point contacts.
The heat current for a temperature biased weak link is computed as a function of temperature and
barrier transparency of the junction. The transport of thermal energy is controlled by the quasiparticle
transmission probability for the point contact that couples the superconducting leads. We derive this
transmission probability and results for the heat current starting from nonequilibrium transport
equations and interface boundary conditions for the Keldysh propagators in quasiclassical approximation.
We discuss the thermal conductance for both clean and dirty superconducting leads, as well as aspects of
the nonlinear current response. We show that the transmission probability for continuum quasiparticle
states is both energy- and phase-dependent, and controlled by an interface Andreev bound state below
the continuum. For high transparency barriers the formation of a low-energy bound state, when the phase
is tuned to φ = π, leads to a reduction of the heat current relative to that for φ = 0.
For low-transparency barriers, a shallow Andreev bound state just below the continuum edge is connected
with resonant transmission of quasiparticles for energies just above the gap edge, and leads to enhanced
heat conductance as the temperature is lowered below the superconducting transition.
- Comment: 13 pages with 8 figures