Optimal power and efficiency of odd engines

Étienne Fodor, Anton Souslov

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Abstract

Odd materials feature antisymmetric response to perturbations. This anomalous property can stem from the nonequilibrium activity of their components, which is sustained by an external energy supply. These materials open the door to designing innovative engines which extract work by applying cyclic deformations, without any equivalent in equilibrium. Here, we reveal that the efficiency of such energy conversion, from local activity to macroscopic work, can be arbitrarily close to unity when the cycles of deformation are properly designed. We illustrate these principles in some canonical viscoelastic materials, which leads us to identify strategies for optimizing power and efficiency according to material properties and to delineate guidelines for the design of more complex odd engines.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberL062602
JournalPhysical Review E
Volume104
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Dec 2021

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