Mar 20 – 22, 2019
Nordita, Stockholm
Europe/Stockholm timezone

A quantum-dot heat engine operating close to the thermodynamic efficiency limits

Mar 20, 2019, 4:00 PM
132:028 (Nordita, Stockholm)


Nordita, Stockholm


Heiner Linke (Lund University)


It has been known for some time that a perfect (delta-function) energy filter allows, in principle, thermal-to-electric energy conversion near ideal (Carnot) efficiency. [1,2] I will give an introduction to this concept and to thermoelectrics in general, focusing on reversible heat engines. Then I will focus on a recent experiment where we realized a near-ideal quantum-dot heat engine in devices based on single nanowires, realizing power production at maximum power with Curzon-Ahlborn efficiency, and reaching more than 70% of Carnot efficiency at maximum efficiency settings [3]. I will also discuss possible applications of this concept to hot-carrier solar cells. [1] Mahan, G. D., & Sofo, J. O. (1996). The best thermoelectric. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 93(15), 7436–7439. [2] Humphrey, T. E., Newbury, R., Taylor, R. P., & Linke, H. (2002). Reversible Quantum Brownian Heat Engines for Electrons. Physical Review Letters, 89(11), 116801. [3] Martin Josefsson, Artis Svilans, Adam M. Burke, Eric A. Hoffmann, Sofia Fahlvik, Claes Thelander, Martin Leijnse, Heiner Linke: A quantum-dot heat engine operated close to thermodynamic efficiency limits. Nature Nanotechnology 13, 920-924 (2018)

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