Landauer's principle states that erasure of each bit of information in a system requires at least a unit of energy kBTln2 to be dissipated. In return, the blank bit may possibly be utilized to extract usable work of the amount kBTln2, in keeping with the second law of thermodynamics. While in principle any collection of spins can be utilized as information storage, work extraction by utilizing this resource in principle requires specialized engines that are capable of using this resource. In this work, we focus on heat and charge transport in a quantum spin Hall device in the presence of a spin bath. We show how a properly initialized nuclear spin subsystem can be used as a memory resource for a Maxwell's demon to harvest available heat energy from the reservoirs to induce charge current that can power an external electrical load. We also show how to initialize the nuclear spin subsystem using applied bias currents which necessarily dissipate energy, hence demonstrating Landauer's principle. This provides an alternative method of “energy storage” in an all-electrical device. We finally propose a realistic setup to experimentally observe a Landauer erasure/work extraction cycle.
|Journal||Physical review B: Covering condensed matter and materials physics|
|Publication status||Published - 15 Jun 2018|