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Qubit absorption refrigerator at strong coupling

Mu, Anqi; Agarwalla, Bijay Kumar; Schaller, Gernot; Segal, Dvira

We demonstrate that a quantum absorption refrigerator (QAR) can be realized from the smallest quantum system, a qubit, by coupling it in a non-additive (strong) manner to three heat baths. This function is un-attainable for the qubit model under the weak system-bath coupling limit, when the dissipation is additive. In an optimal design, the reservoirs are engineered and characterized by a single frequency component. We then obtain closed expressions for the cooling window and refrigeration efficiency, as well as bounds for the maximal cooling efficiency and the efficiency at maximal power. Our results agree with macroscopic designs and with three-level models for QARs, which are based on the weak system-bath coupling assumption. Beyond the optimal limit, we show with analytical calculations and numerical simulations that the cooling efficiency varies in a non-universal manner with model parameters. Our work demonstrates that strongly-coupled quantum machines can exhibit function that is un-attainable under the weak system-bath coupling assumption.
Published in: New Journal of Physics, 10.1088/1367-2630/aa9b75, IOP