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Quantized thermal transport in single-atom junctions

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Science  17 Mar 2017:
Vol. 355, Issue 6330, pp. 1192-1195
DOI: 10.1126/science.aam6622

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Calorimetry reaches an atomic junction

Electrical and thermal conductivity in metals are linked at the macroscopic length scale because electrons carry both heat and current. Cui et al. found that this relationship, the Wiedemann-Franz law, holds down to the atomic scale in gold and platinum (see the Perspective by Segal). They made thermal and electrical conductance measurements through a point contact only one atom thick. In gold, the thermal and electrical conductance was quantized, owing to the electronic band structure of the metal. The experiments pave the way for high-resolution calorimetry and other thermal measurements at the nanoscale.

Science, this issue p. 1192; see also p. 1125

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