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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)