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Article

A Thermodynamic Approach to Measuring Entropy in a Few-Electron Nanodevice

School of Physics and Astronomy, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS, UK
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Academic Editor: Armin Feldhoff
Entropy 2021, 23(6), 640; https://doi.org/10.3390/e23060640
Received: 21 April 2021 / Revised: 14 May 2021 / Accepted: 19 May 2021 / Published: 21 May 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nature of Entropy and Its Direct Metrology)
The entropy of a system gives a powerful insight into its microscopic degrees of freedom; however, standard experimental ways of measuring entropy through heat capacity are hard to apply to nanoscale systems, as they require the measurement of increasingly small amounts of heat. Two alternative entropy measurement methods have been recently proposed for nanodevices: through charge balance measurements and transport properties. We describe a self-consistent thermodynamic framework for applying thermodynamic relations to few-electron nanodevices—small systems, where fluctuations in particle number are significant, whilst highlighting several ongoing misconceptions. We derive a relation (a consequence of a Maxwell relation for small systems), which describes both existing entropy measurement methods as special cases, while also allowing the experimentalist to probe the intermediate regime between them. Finally, we independently prove the applicability of our framework in systems with complex microscopic dynamics—those with many excited states of various degeneracies—from microscopic considerations. View Full-Text
Keywords: nanoscale system; quantum transport; Coulomb blockade; entropy measurement; thermodynamic relations nanoscale system; quantum transport; Coulomb blockade; entropy measurement; thermodynamic relations
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pyurbeeva, E.; Mol, J.A. A Thermodynamic Approach to Measuring Entropy in a Few-Electron Nanodevice. Entropy 2021, 23, 640. https://doi.org/10.3390/e23060640

AMA Style

Pyurbeeva E, Mol JA. A Thermodynamic Approach to Measuring Entropy in a Few-Electron Nanodevice. Entropy. 2021; 23(6):640. https://doi.org/10.3390/e23060640

Chicago/Turabian Style

Pyurbeeva, Eugenia, and Jan A. Mol. 2021. "A Thermodynamic Approach to Measuring Entropy in a Few-Electron Nanodevice" Entropy 23, no. 6: 640. https://doi.org/10.3390/e23060640

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