All-optical nanomechanical heat engine

Andreas Dechant, Nikolai Kiesel, Eric Lutz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Citations (Scopus)


We propose and theoretically investigate a nanomechanical heat engine. We show how a levitated nanoparticle in an optical trap inside a cavity can be used to realize a Stirling cycle in the underdamped regime. The all-optical approach enables fast and flexible control of all thermodynamical parameters and the efficient optimization of the performance of the engine. We develop a systematic optimization procedure to determine optimal driving protocols. Further, we perform numerical simulations with realistic parameters and evaluate the maximum power and the corresponding efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Article number183602
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 2015 May 6

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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