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Translating Spin Seebeck Effect Physics into Practice

Elemental mapping image of Ni-Pt nanoparticles obtained by a scanning transmission electron microscope

  • The spin Seebeck effect (SSE) holds enormous potential for use in converting thermal energy (such as waste heat) into electricity
  • Conventional SSE experiments are performed on delicate thin film heterostructures, which are impractical for energy conversion applications
  • We have now shown that SSE can be observed in bulk materials by embedding ‘normal metal’ nanoparticles (Pt or Au) within conducting ferromagnets (Ni or MnBi)
  • This proof-of-principle study establishes a viable approach for translating SSE physics into more practical bulk materials that can be produced using low-cost synthesis methods like powder processing and wet chemistry
  • With further study, the energy conversion efficiency may be significantly enhanced and even become competitive with conventional thermoelectric materials