RIKEN Lab engineers have created a multitasking nanomachine that can simultaneously operate as
Ordinary engines and refrigerators workconnecting two containers of liquid. Compression of one of them leads to heating of the liquid, while with the rapid expansion of the other, the liquid cools. If these operations are performed in a periodic cycle, the fluids will exchange energy and the system can be used as a heat engine or refrigerator.
According to Keiji Ono of the RIKEN Advanced Device Lab, it was previously impossible to configure a nanomachine to perform both tasks simultaneously.
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In the quantum version of the heat engine, the electronused in the transistor. An electron has two possible energy states. The team can increase or decrease the gap between these energy states by applying an electric field and microwaves.
“This can be analogous to the operationexpansion-contraction of the fluid in the chamber, ”the researchers note. The device also emitted microwaves when an electron passed from a high-energy level to a low-energy level.
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