In the recent years, nano-refrigeration using electron tunneling in hybrid Normal metal - Insulator - Superconductor (N-I-S) junctions has gained increasing attention. Its basic principle is the energy selective tunneling due to the presence of an energy gap in the superconductor density of states. With a sub-gap voltage bias, only the most energetic electrons can tunnel out of the normal metal, leaving behind the electrons with less energy.
We have measured with a high resolution the differential conductance of S-I-N-I-S junctions, whose analysis gives us an access to the normal metal electronic temperature as a function of the voltage. A quantitative model is proposed, that includes the electron-phonon coupling and the Kapitza resistance at the interface with the substrate. With this model, we have achieved a thorough description of the charge and heat currents. We have also shown that the normal metal phonon temperature drops significantly below the substrate temperature.
At very low temperature (T < 200mK) and low bias, the coherent Andreev current dominates the quasi-particle current. By analyzing quantitatively the heat balance in the S-I-N-I-S junction, we demonstrate that the Andreev current does carry heat. This thermal contribution heats the normal metal electrons, overriding over a large voltage range the tunneling-based cooling.
 S. Rajauria, P. S. Luo, T. Fournier, F. W. J. Hekking, H. Courtois, and B. Pannetier, Phy. Rev. Lett. 99, 047004 (2007).
 S. Rajauria, Ph. Gandit, T. Fournier, F. W. J. Hekking, B. Pannetier, and H. Courtois, Phy. Rev. Lett. 100, 047004 (2008).
 S. Rajauria, H. Courtois and B. Pannetier, submitted (2009).