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Physicists Find New Explanation For Key Experiment

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In this experimental design, the sample is stretched between two copper blocks. One is hot; the other, cold. The coils generate the magnetic field; the contact pins measure the tension.

Researchers at Bielefeld University have developed a new method of measurement for "spin caloritronics."

Credit: Bielefeld University

Bielefeld University researchers have developed a new measurement method for "spin caloritronics," a field that aims to develop more effective and energy-saving data processing in information technology.

The new method, using thin magnetic films made of nickel ferrite or iron garnet, can generate pure spin currents in magnetic materials that do not conduct electric current, known as magnetic isolators. "Just as you can use electric current to build up an electric voltage in materials that conduct electricity, you can use a spin current to build up a spin voltage in magnetic isolators," says Bielefeld researcher Timo Kuschel. "This is called spin accumulation."

The researchers showed thermal spin currents can be generated through differences in temperature, and they also are developing a proof of spin accumulations using major research facilities such as the Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron in Hamburg. "With magnetic x-ray reflectometry, we have found a method that can also provide us with additional information compared to earlier approaches," Kuschel says.

The findings ensure the need for further discussions and research in the field of spin caloritronics, and the researchers obtained additional research funding last year for projects in the German Research Foundation's Spin Caloric Transport program.

From Bielefeld University
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