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The Onsager reciprocity relation and generalized efficiency of a thermal Brownian motor

Keywords: Brownian motor,Onsager coefficient,generalized efficiency,performance characteristic

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Based on a general model of Brownian motors, the Onsager coefficients and generalized efficiency of a thermal Brownian motor are calculated analytically. It is found that the Onsager reciprocity relation holds and the Onsager coefficients are not affected by the kinetic energy change due to the particle's motion. Only when the heat leak in the system is negligible can the determinant of the Onsager matrix vanish. Moreover, the influence of the main parameters characterizing the model on the generalized efficiency of the Brownian motor is discussed in detail. The characteristic curves of the generalized efficiency varying with these parameters are presented, and the maximum generalized efficiency and the corresponding optimum parameters are determined. The results obtained here are of general significance. They are used to analyze the performance characteristics of the Brownian motors operating in the three interesting cases with zero heat leak, zero average drift velocity or a linear response relation, so that some important conclusions in current references are directly included in some limit cases of the present paper.


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