Indications of the origin of Spin Seebeck effect discovered

7 septiembre 2015

The recovery of waste heat in all kinds of processes poses one of the main challenges of our time to making established processes more energy-efficient and thus more environmentally friendly. The Spin Seebeck effect (SSE) is a novel, only rudimentarily understood effect, which allows for the conversion of a heat flux into electrical energy, even in electrically non-conducting materials. A team of physicists has now succeeded in identifying the origin of the Spin Seebeck effect. By the specific investigation of the material- and temperature-dependence of the effect, the researchers were able to show that it exhibits a characteristic length scale attributable to its magnetic origin. This finding now allows for the advancement of this long-time controversial effect in terms of first applications.