Exploring the Basic Principles and Functionalities of Spintronic Thermal Management


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Spintronic Thermal Management

Ken-ichi Uchida and Ryo Iguchi
J. Phys. Soc. Jpn. 90, 122001 (2021).

Scientists propose a new spin caloritronics concept called “spintronic thermal management” and provide a comprehensive overview of basic principles, physical behaviors, and heat control functionalities associated with the concept.

Electrons in an atom possess spins with two states, one facing upwards and the other downwards. The magnetic moments and degrees of freedom associated with the spins can be manipulated to carry information and transfer energy. Spin caloritronics is a new and upcoming field of research that looks for new ways to drive and control thermal transport and thermoelectric conversion mediated by the spin of electrons.

Most of the fundamental research in this field is focused on heat-to-charge and heat-to-spin conversion phenomena shown by hybrid structures and magnetic materials, and not much is known about the spin-caloritronic properties that give rise to heat currents.

To unravel properties of heat conversion, generation, and transport mediated by spin, a team of researchers from Japan proposed a new concept called “spintronic thermal management.” The concept provides a window to the demonstration of unique heat control functionalities such as local temperature modulation, spintronic thermal switching, active control of thermoelectric conversion, and unidirectional remote heating.

The team also classified the basic behaviors of spintronic thermal management into magneto-thermoelectric effects, thermomagnetic effects, and thermospin effects based on an extensive overview of the conversion phenomenon between spin, charge, and heat currents associated with spin caloritronics.

Ultimately, the study provides a comprehensive understanding of a basic physical phenomenon that opens up avenues for new material development and device engineering for spintronic thermal management. These findings could also come in handy while designing advanced thermal management technologies for high-functioning and reliable electronic devices with better heat distribution and cooling systems.

Spintronic Thermal Management

Ken-ichi Uchida and Ryo Iguchi
J. Phys. Soc. Jpn. 90, 122001 (2021).

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