Heating of inhomogeneous electron flow in the hydrodynamic regime

Gu Zhang, Valentin Kachorovskii, Konstantin Tikhonov, Igor Gornyi

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3 Citations (Scopus)


We study the electron temperature profiles for an inhomogeneous electron flow in the hydrodynamic regime. We assume that the inhomogeneity is due to a weakly nonuniform distribution of the momentum relaxation time within a spherically constricted area. We show that the temperature profile dramatically depends on the drive strength and the viscosity of the electron liquid. In the absence of viscosity, a Landauer-dipole-like temperature distribution, asymmetrically deformed along the current by the inelastic electron-phonon scattering, emerges around the inhomogeneity. We find that both the Landauer-dipole temperature profile and its asymmetry in the direction of the driving electric field exist in all dimensionalities and are, therefore, universal features of inhomogeneous hydrodynamic electron flow. We further demonstrate that the electron viscosity suppresses the thermal Landauer dipole and leads to the appearance of a "hot spot"exactly at the center of the constriction. We also calculate the phonon temperature distribution, which can be directly measured in experiments on thermal nanoimaging.

Original languageEnglish
Article number075417
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2021


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