The object of this talk is to introduce a simple transparent model showing how out-of-equilibrium "demons" suitably incorporated into nano-devices can achieve energy conversion, similar to how the elusive Maxwell's demon supposedly does so in the classic Maxwell's demon set up. The amazing performance of today's computers powered by a billion plus nanotransistors, each having active regions barely a few hundred atoms long, is familiar. A less-appreciated by-product of the microelectronics revolution is the deeper understanding of current flow, energy exchange, and device operation which forms the basis of what we now call the "bottom-up" approach. In this talk, we use a simple version of this model to analyze a specially designed device that could also be called an electronic Maxwell's demon: one that lets electrons go preferentially in one direction over another. We will demonstrate that this "information battery" functions by utilizing the "information entropy" of the demon to facilitate charge transfer. The discussion will be kept at an academic level steering clear of real world details, but the illustrative devices we use are very much within the capabilities of present-day technology.
Dr. Bhaskaran Muralidharan obtained his BTech in Engineering Physics from IIT Bombay in 2001, his MS and PhD in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University in 2003 and 2008 respectively. Between 2008-2012, he was a post-doctoral associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and at the Institute for theoretical Physics at the University of Regensburg, Germany. Since May 2012, he is an Assistant Professor in the Electrical Engineering dept at IIT Bombay. He is currently involved in the physics and simulation of non-equilibrium phenomena in many systems including nanodevices, nano and spin thermoelectrics, and spintronic-energy conversion devices.