Tensor-network method to simulate strongly interacting quantum thermal machines

Marlon Brenes, Juan José Mendoza-Arenas, Archak Purkayastha, Mark T. Mitchison, Stephen R. Clark, John Goold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)
147 Downloads (Pure)


We present a methodology to simulate the quantum thermodynamics of thermal machines which are built from an interacting working medium in contact with fermionic reservoirs at fixed temperature and chemical potential. Our method works at finite temperature, beyond linear response and weak system-reservoir coupling, and allows for non-quadratic interactions in the working medium. The method uses mesoscopic reservoirs, continuously damped towards thermal equilibrium, in order to represent continuum baths and a novel tensor network algorithm to simulate the steady-state thermodynamics. Using the example of a quantum-dot heat engine, we demonstrate that our technique replicates the well known Landauer-B\"uttiker theory for efficiency and power. We then go beyond the quadratic limit to demonstrate the capability of our method by simulating a three-site machine with non-quadratic interactions. Remarkably, we find that such interactions lead to power enhancement, without being detrimental to the efficiency. Furthermore, we demonstrate the capability of our method to tackle complex many-body systems by extracting the super-diffusive exponent for high-temperature transport in the isotropic Heisenberg model. Finally, we discuss transport in the gapless phase of the anisotropic Heisenberg model at finite temperature and its connection to charge conjugation-parity, going beyond the predictions of single-site boundary driving configurations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number031040
Number of pages29
JournalPhysical Review X
Publication statusPublished - 19 Aug 2020


  • mesoscopics
  • quantum physics
  • statistical physics


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