Thermodynamic Geometry of Microscopic Heat Engines

Kay Brandner, Keiji Saito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)


We develop a general framework to describe the thermodynamics of microscopic heat engines driven by arbitrary periodic temperature variations and modulations of a mechanical control parameter. Within the slow-driving regime, our approach leads to a universal trade-off relation between efficiency and power, which follows solely from geometric arguments and holds for any thermodynamically consistent microdynamics. Focusing on Lindblad dynamics, we derive a second bound showing that coherence as a genuine quantum effect inevitably reduces the performance of slow engine cycles regardless of the driving amplitudes. To show how our theory can be applied in practice, we work out a specific example, which lies within the range of current solid-state technologies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number040602
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jan 29

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


Dive into the research topics of 'Thermodynamic Geometry of Microscopic Heat Engines'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this