Volume 85, Number 6, March 2009
Article Number 60010
Number of page(s) 5
Section General
Published online 07 April 2009
EPL, 85 (2009) 60010
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/85/60010

Thermoelectric efficiency at maximum power in a quantum dot

M. Esposito1, 2, K. Lindenberg1 and C. Van den Broeck3

1   Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Institute for Nonlinear Science, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0340, USA
2   Center for Nonlinear Phenomena and Complex Systems, Université Libre de Bruxelles - CP 231, Campus Plaine, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium, EU
3   Hasselt University - B-3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium, EU

received 16 January 2009; accepted in final form 2 March 2009; published March 2009
published online 7 April 2009

We identify the operational conditions for maximum power of a nanothermoelectric engine consisting of a single quantum level embedded between two leads at different temperatures and chemical potentials. The corresponding thermodynamic efficiency agrees with the Curzon-Ahlborn expression up to quadratic terms in the gradients, supporting the thesis of universality beyond linear response.

05.70.Ln - Nonequilibrium and irreversible thermodynamics.
05.70.-a - Thermodynamics.
05.40.-a - Fluctuation phenomena, random processes, noise, and Brownian motion.

© EPLA 2009