Active Refrigerators Powered by Inertia

L Hecht and S Mandal and H Lowen and B Liebchen, PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS, 129, 178001 (2022).

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.129.178001

We present the operational principle for a refrigerator that uses inertial effects in active Brownian particles to locally reduce their (kinetic) temperature by 2 orders of magnitude below the environmental temperature. This principle exploits the peculiar but so-far unknown shape of the phase diagram of inertial active Brownian particles to initiate motility-induced phase separation in the targeted cooling regime only. Remarkably, active refrigerators operate without requiring isolating walls opening the route toward using them to systematically absorb and trap, e.g., toxic substances from the environment.

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