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We propose cyclic refrigeration in solid state, employing a gas of magnetic field vortices in a type-II superconductor—also known as fluxons—as the cooling agent. Refrigeration cycles are realized by envisioning a racetrack geometry consisting of both adiabatic and isothermal arms, etched into a type-II superconductor. The guided propagation of fluxons in the racetrack is achieved by applying an external electrical current, in a Corbino geometry, through the sample. A gradient of magnetic field is set across the racetrack allowing one to adiabatically cool down and heat up the fluxons, which subsequently exchange heat with the cold and hot reservoirs, respectively. We characterize the steady state of refrigeration cycles thermodynamically for both s-wave and d-wave pairing symmetries, and present their figures of merit such as the cooling power delivered, and the coefficient of performance. Our cooling principle can offer significant cooling for on-chip microrefrigeration purposes, by locally cooling below the base temperatures achievable in a conventional dilution refrigerator. We estimate nW/mm2 of cooling power per unit area assuming a tunnel coupling with ∼MΩµm2 specific resistance. Integrating the fluxon fridge to quantum circuits can enhance their coherence time by locally suppressing thermal fluctuations, and improve the efficiency of single photon detectors and charge sensors.


This article was originally published in Physical Review Research, volume 6, in 2024.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



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