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New measurements show that the spin-Seebeck effect is driven by phonons


are attempting to utilize the spin of electrons to add new functionality to
electronics. One key advantage of spin is that it may be transported
through  materials without generating
heat. So far this prediction has not been tested. An OSU research team is
attempting to study the interaction between heat particles (phonons) and
magnetic moments or spins. A recently discovered effect relating heat and spin,
is the spin-Seebeck effect, where thermal gradients generate a distribution of
spins and can even pump local spin currents into  non-magnetic materials. The OSU team has
previously shown that this spin-Seebeck effect does not require charge motion
[Jaworski et al. Nature Materials (2010)], which suggests that phonons are
causing the effect. This year, the OSU team has revealed a strong connection
between phonons and the spin-Seebeck effect [Jaworski et al. Phys. Rev. Lett.
(2011)]. The spin-Seebeck effect becomes largest at exactly the same
temperature where the material can best conduct heat