Autonomous thermal machine for amplification and control of energetic coherence

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We present a model for an autonomous quantum thermal machine composed of two qubits capable of manipulating and even amplifying the local coherence in a nondegenerate external system. The machine uses only thermal resources, namely, contact with two heat baths at different temperatures, and the external system has a nonzero initial amount of coherence. The method we propose allows for an interconversion between energy, both work and heat, and coherence in an autonomous configuration working in out-of-equilibrium conditions. This model raises interesting questions about the role of fundamental limitations on transformations involving coherence and opens up new possibilities in the manipulation of coherence by autonomous thermal machines.
©2019 American Physical Society. We thank Paul Skrzypczyk for interesting discussions and Imam Marvian for providing useful comments that helped us to improve this paper. We acknowledge financial support from the Spanish Government, grants TerMic (FIS2014-52486-R) and CONTRACT (FIS2017-83709-R), the European project ERC-AD NLST, and the Swiss National Science Foundation (Grants No. PP00P2_138917 and No. 200020 165843 and QSIT). G.M. acknowledges support from MINECO FPI Grant No. BES-2012-054025. This work has been supported by the COST Action MP1209 "Thermodynamics in the quantum regime."
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