Department of Physics

Mesoscopic Thermal Effects

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Thermal properties of nanostructures


Prof. Maasilta


The past decade has seen a tremendous increase of interest in the physics and possible technological applications of fabricated structures in the nanoscale. A lot of this interest has been concentrated initially on the electronic transport properties and optical properties of these devices. On the other hand, thermal properties have received much less attention, although their importance from the basic physics point of view is at least as important as the purely electrical phenomena, in many cases. One good example of the importance of thermal transport in the operation of meso- and nanoscale device applications is ultra-sensitive low-temperature radiation detectors, in which the sensitivity is ultimately limited by the thermal coupling to the substrate (phonon noise). In our group, we study several aspects of this field, and the projects can be grouped as follows:










Development of ultrasensitive radiation detectors

Prof. MaasiltaGraduate student doing a cooldown with a dilution refrigerator

The basic research on thermal properties links naturally to the applications in detector development. We are currently involved in several applied detector projects, whose aim is to develop state-of-the-art superconducting X-ray detectors, and find new applications for them. This research has been funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Finnish Technology Agency (TEKES).