Projects per year
We experimentally realize protocols that allow us to extract work beyond the free energy difference from a single-electron transistor at the single thermodynamic trajectory level. With two carefully designed out-of-equilibrium driving cycles featuring kicks of the control parameter, we demonstrate work extraction up to large fractions of kBT or with probabilities substantially greater than 1/2, despite the zero free energy difference over the cycle. Our results are explained in the framework of nonequilibrium fluctuation relations. We thus show that irreversibility can be used as a resource for optimal work extraction even in the absence of feedback from an external operator.