EE Student Information

EST Seminar: Merging spintronics and quantum thermodynamics to harvest ambient thermal energy

Merging spintronics and quantum thermodynamics to harvest ambient thermal energy
Tuesday, October 19, 2021 - 10:30am
Dr. Martin Bowen (IPCMS)
Abstract / Description: 

Student organizer contact: Kirstin Schauble (

I will present a novel concept that blends spintronics and quantum thermodynamics to generate electricity. This concept is invoked to explain experimental observations of electrical generation across oxide1 and molecular spintronic devices that comprise paramagnetic centers sandwiched between electrodes with full transport spin polarization. The presence of so-called quantum resources2,3, leading to a source of work of quantum origin called ergotropy, appears to be manifest in sub-kBT spectral features, as well in an apparent signature of a phase transition of the spin fluctuations on the paramagnetic centers. I will discuss our present research tracks to better understand this spintronic quantum engine. General info may also be found at


1. Katcko, K. et al. Spin-driven electrical power generation at room temperature. Communications Physics 2, 116 (2019).

2. Bresque, L. et al. Two-Qubit Engine Fueled by Entanglement and Local Measurements. Phys. Rev. Lett. 126, 120605 (2021).

3. Klatzow, J. et al. Experimental Demonstration of Quantum Effects in the Operation of Microscopic Heat Engines. Phys. Rev. Lett. 122, 110601 (2019).

Bio: After undergrad studies in Physics and Spanish at UC Berkeley, Martin Bowen obtained his PhD in 2003 on solid-state tunneling spintronics (director: 2007 Physics Nobel winner Albert Fert). He entered the CNRS in 2006 and was promoted to Senior Researcher (DR) in 2017. He presently leads the 'Hybrid Spintronics' team at the IPCMS, an interdisciplinary institute in Strasbourg. His research aims to implement quantum physics within information/ communication and energy technologies, using spintronics as an established industrialization vector. Using advanced operando techniques, he studies the electronic properties of the quantum nano-object within the nanotransport path across the oxide and molecular spacer layer of micro- and nano-scale vertical spintronic devices. Martin Bowen is an active member of several local, national and international sustainability & resilience initiatives across the scientific and civil society spectra.