Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Physicists at Mainz University build pilot prototype of a single ion heat engine: Nano-heat engine likely to operate at high efficiency / Publication in Physical Review Letters

Simulation of an Otto cycle of a single ion heat engine: The enclosed area pictures the produced work that is significantly increased by way of squeezing.
Simulation of an Otto cycle of a single ion heat engine: The enclosed area pictures the produced work that is significantly increased by way of squeezing.

Abstract:
Scientists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg are working on a heat engine that consists of just a single ion. Such a nano-heat engine could be far more efficient than, for example, a car engine or a coal-fired power plant. A usual heat engine transforms heat into utilizable mechanical energy with the corresponding efficiency of an Otto engine amounting to only about 25 percent, for instance. The proposed nano-heat engine consisting of a single calcium ion would be much more efficient. The main aim of the research being conducted is to better understand how thermodynamics works on very small scales. A pilot prototype of such a single-ion heat engine is currently being constructed at Mainz University.

Physicists at Mainz University build pilot prototype of a single ion heat engine: Nano-heat engine likely to operate at high efficiency / Publication in Physical Review Letters

Mainz, Germany | Posted on February 3rd, 2014

As the physicists explain in an article recently published in the journal Physical Review Letters, the efficiency of heat engines powered by thermal heat reservoirs is determined by the second law of thermodynamics, one of the fundamental concepts in physics. It was as far back as 1824 that Frenchman Nicolas Carnot calculated the maximum possible efficiency limit of such engines, now known as the Carnot limit. In the case of the newly proposed nano-heat engine, the scientists have been theoretically able to exceed the classic Carnot limit by manipulating the heat baths and exploiting nonequlibrium states.

Calculations and simulations made about a year ago showed for the first time that the thermo-dynamic flow in an internal combustion engine could be reproduced using individual ions. The idea was to use a calcium 40 ion, which has a diameter a million times smaller than that of a human hair, for this purpose. "Individual ions can basically act as the piston and drive shaft or, in other words, represent the entire engine," explained Johannes Ro▀nagel of the Quantum, Atomic, and Neutron Physics (QUANTUM) work group of the JGU Institute of Physics. Individual ions have already been captured in Paul traps and, using laser beams and electrical fields, not only cooled and heated but also compressed. "This means we are able to manipulate the pulse location distribution for optimum efficiency," added Ro▀nagel. "Exceeding the Carnot limit for a standard heat engine thus does not violate the second law of thermodynamics but instead demonstrates that the use of specially prepared, non-thermal heat reservoirs also makes it possible to further improve efficiency." In their publication, the physicists calculated the general Carnot limit for this situation. As the mechanical capacity of a single ion machine is extremely low, it can probably only be used in heating or cooling nano systems.

The intention is now to actually develop the proposed single ion heat engine in initial experiments and construct a prototype in the laboratory.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Johannes Ro▀nagel
Quantum, Atomic, and Neutron Physics (QUANTUM)
Institute of Physics
Johannes Gutenberg University
D 55099 Mainz

49-613-139-23671
Fax +49 6131 39-23428

Copyright © Johannes Gutenberg Universitaet Mainz

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

Publications

O. Abah et al., Single-Ion Heat Engine at Maximum Power, Physical Review Letters, 109:20, 14 November 2012,

Related News Press

News and information

The dispute about the origins of terahertz photoresponse in graphene results in a draw April 26th, 2018

Getting a better look at living cells April 25th, 2018

Graphene origami as a mechanically tunable plasmonic structure for infrared detection April 25th, 2018

Nuclear radiation detecting device could lead to new homeland security tool: New device can detect gamma rays and identify radioactive isotopes April 25th, 2018

Molecular Machines

Biophysics -- lighting up DNA-based nanostructures April 25th, 2018

Tiny nanomachine successfully completes test drive: Researchers at the University of Bonn and the research institute Caesar build a one-wheeled vehicle out of DNA rings April 11th, 2018

Piecework at the nano assembly line: Electric fields drive nano-motors a 100,000 times faster than previous methods January 22nd, 2018

'Gyroscope' molecules form crystal that's both solid and full of motion: New type of molecular machine designed by UCLA researchers could have wide-ranging applications in technology and science January 16th, 2018

Molecular Nanotechnology

Biophysics -- lighting up DNA-based nanostructures April 25th, 2018

Tiny nanomachine successfully completes test drive: Researchers at the University of Bonn and the research institute Caesar build a one-wheeled vehicle out of DNA rings April 11th, 2018

Moving nanoparticles using light and magnetic fields January 25th, 2018

Piecework at the nano assembly line: Electric fields drive nano-motors a 100,000 times faster than previous methods January 22nd, 2018

Discoveries

The dispute about the origins of terahertz photoresponse in graphene results in a draw April 26th, 2018

Getting a better look at living cells April 25th, 2018

Graphene origami as a mechanically tunable plasmonic structure for infrared detection April 25th, 2018

Nuclear radiation detecting device could lead to new homeland security tool: New device can detect gamma rays and identify radioactive isotopes April 25th, 2018

Announcements

The dispute about the origins of terahertz photoresponse in graphene results in a draw April 26th, 2018

Getting a better look at living cells April 25th, 2018

Graphene origami as a mechanically tunable plasmonic structure for infrared detection April 25th, 2018

Nuclear radiation detecting device could lead to new homeland security tool: New device can detect gamma rays and identify radioactive isotopes April 25th, 2018

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers

The dispute about the origins of terahertz photoresponse in graphene results in a draw April 26th, 2018

Getting a better look at living cells April 25th, 2018

Graphene origami as a mechanically tunable plasmonic structure for infrared detection April 25th, 2018

Nuclear radiation detecting device could lead to new homeland security tool: New device can detect gamma rays and identify radioactive isotopes April 25th, 2018

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project