High Performance Energy Conversion by the interpla.. (THERMO-SPINTRONIC)
High Performance Energy Conversion by the interplay between Thermoelectricity and Spin Seebeck Effect
Start date: Sep 1, 2012,
End date: Aug 31, 2016
In view of the global energy and environmental demand, the necessity to use the energy sources more efficiently becomes relevant. Since most of energy is still being lost into the environment as waste heat, significant amount of renewable energy remains unused. In this context, thermoelectric materials, which can generate electricity from waste heat, could play an important role in a sustainable energy solution optimizing its consumption. However, the application of thermoelectric generation based classical Seebeck effect is limited to specific cases due to efficiency problems. The control and re-use of heat are therefore important topics in thermoelectricity as well as for the development of spin-based electronics, called spintronics. A recent discovery of spin-Seebeck effect (SSE), reported as a measurement of a redistribution of spins along the sample or “spin voltage” induced by a temperature gradient, generated strong interest in the research community. The existence of this novel effect was recently demonstrated in metallic ferromagnets, diluted magnetic semiconductors and even in oxide insulators. This work aims to obtain a more efficient heat-to-electricity conversion by the combination of these two properties: the classical Seebeck effect and Spin-Seebeck effect being pioneer in applying this concept. To study the interplay between these two effects, suitable binary oxides and perovskite system will be fabricated in insulator/metal hybrid systems (oxides/ferromagnets) and in high-quality superlattices and/or nanoparticles. The insulator will provide the low thermal conductivity which enables to suppress the energy loss due to heat conduction and the SSE could augment the thermoelectric generation efficiency. For this project, modern synthesis methods and state-of-the-art characterization will be employed. The results will highlight the engineering of heat transport in spintronic devices and facilitate the functional use of heat.
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