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Journal Article

Universal bound on the efficiency of molecular motors


Cardoso Barato,  Andre
Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, Max Planck Society;

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Pietzonka, P., Cardoso Barato, A., & Seifert, U. (2016). Universal bound on the efficiency of molecular motors. Journal of Statistical Mechanics: Theory and Experiment, 124004. doi:10.1088/1742-5468/2016/12/124004.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002C-5E03-D
The thermodynamic uncertainty relation provides an inequality relating any mean current, the associated dispersion and the entropy production rate for arbitrary non-equilibrium steady states. Applying it here to a general model of a molecular motor running against an external force or torque, we show that the thermodynamic efficiency of such motors is universally bounded by an expression involving only experimentally accessible quantities. For motors pulling cargo through a viscous fluid, a universal bound for the corresponding Stokes efficiency follows as a variant. A similar result holds if mechanical force is used to synthesize molecules of high chemical potential. Crucially, no knowledge of the detailed underlying mechano-chemical mechanism is required for applying these bounds.