Strong bounds on onsager coefficients and efficiency for three-terminal thermoelectric transport in a magnetic field

Kay Brandner, Keiji Saito, Udo Seifert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

103 Citations (Scopus)


For thermoelectric transport in the presence of a magnetic field that breaks time-reversal symmetry, a strong bound on the Onsager coefficients is derived within a general setup using three terminals. Asymmetric Onsager coefficients lead to a maximum efficiency substantially smaller than the Carnot efficiency reaching only ηC/4 in the limit of strong asymmetry. Related bounds are derived for efficiency at maximum power, which can become larger than the Curzon-Ahlborn value ηC/2, and for a cooling device. Our approach reveals that in the presence of reversible currents the standard analysis based on the positivity of entropy production is incomplete without considering the role of current conservation explicitly.

Original languageEnglish
Article number070603
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Feb 11


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this