Navigation Links
Magnetic nanoswitch for thermoelectric voltages

This press release is available in German.

The heat which occurs in tiny computer processors might soon be no longer useless or even a problem. On the contrary: It could be used to switch these processors more easily or to store data more efficiently! These are two of the several potential applications made possible by a discovery made at the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB). This so-called "thermoelectric voltage" may well be very interesting mainly for the use of nano-junctions, i.e. small components based on magnetic tunnel structures. The results obtained by the researchers have been published in the current issue of the renowned specialised journal Physical Review Letters.

Today, magnetic tunnel structures already occur in various areas of information technology. They are used, for example, as magnetic storage cells in non-volatile magnetic memory chips (the so-called "MRAMs" Magnetic Random Access Memories) or as highly sensitive magnetic sensors to read out the data stored on hard disks. The new effect discovered at PTB within the scope of a research collaboration with Bielefeld University and the Singulus company could, in the future, add a new application to the existing ones: monitoring and controlling thermoelectric voltages and currents in highly integrated electronic circuits.

Magnetic tunnel structures consist of two magnetic layers separated only by a thin insulation layer of approx. 1 nm the so-called "tunnel barrier". The magnetic orientation of the two layers inside the tunnel structure has a great influence on its electrical properties: if the magnetic moments of the two layers are parallel to each other, the resistance is low; if, on the contrary, they are opposed to each other, the resistance is high. The change in the resistance when switching the magnetisation can amount to more than 100 %. It is therefore possible to control the electric current flowing through the magnetic tunnel structure efficiently by simply switching the magnetisation.

The work carried out by the PTB researchers now shows that, besides the electric current, also the thermal current flowing through the tunnel structure can be influenced by switching the magnetisation. In their experiments, the scientists generated a temperature difference between the two magnetic layers and investigated the electric voltage (the so-called "thermoelectric voltage") generated hereby. It turned out that the thermoelectric voltage depends on the magnetic orientation of the two layers nearly as strongly as the electric resistance. By switching the magnetisation, it is therefore possible to control the thermoelectric voltage and, ultimately, also the thermal current flowing through the specimen.

In future, this new effect could be applied, for example, by using and converting the energy of waste heat occurring in integrated circuits in a targeted way. Furthermore, the discovery of this so-called "tunnel magneto thermoelectric voltage" is a milestone in the research field "spin calorics" a field developing at a fast pace which is currently promoted by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) within the scope of a large-scale, 6-year priority programme.

Contact: Dr. Hans Werner Schumacher
Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB)

Related biology technology :

1. New Publications Show Noninvasive Magnetic Resonance-Guided Focused Ultrasound to be a Potentially Safe, Effective Pain-Relieving Treatment for Bone Metastases
2. Stereotaxis Showcases Advancements for Remote Magnetic Ablations
3. Capture of nanomagnetic fingerprints a boost for next-generation information storage media
4. Nanophysicists find unexpected magnetic effect
5. Unexpectedly long-range effects in advanced magnetic devices
6. Researchers design new graphene-based, nano-material with magnetic properties
7. Researchers design new graphene-based, nanomaterial with magnetic properties
8. Magnetic mixing creates quite a stir
9. Using magnetic toys as inspiration, researchers tease out structures of self-assembled clusters
10. Brown physicist discovers odd, fluctuating magnetic waves
11. Magnetic fields drive drug-loaded nanoparticles to reduce blood vessel blockages in an animal study
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Magnetic nanoswitch for thermoelectric voltages
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016  The Biodesign Challenge (BDC), a university competition ... harness living systems and biotechnology, announced its winning teams ... New York City . The ... projects at MoMA,s Celeste Bartos Theater during the daylong ... senior curator of architecture and design, and Suzanne ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... In a new case report published today ... a patient who developed lymphedema after being treated for breast cancer benefitted from an ... paradigm for dealing with this debilitating, frequent side effect of cancer treatment. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 On ... session at 4,833.32, down 0.22%; the Dow Jones Industrial Average ... 500 closed at 2,085.45, down 0.17%. has initiated coverage ... INFI ), Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NKTR ), Aralez ... Inc. (NASDAQ: BIND ). Learn more about these ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 22, 2016  Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN ) ... QB3@953 life sciences incubator to accelerate the development ... laboratory space at QB3@953 was created to help high-potential ... for many early stage organizations - access to laboratory ... Amgen launched two "Amgen Golden Ticket" awards, providing each ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:4/28/2016)... and BANGALORE, India , April ... EdgeVerve Systems, a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: ... today announced a global partnership that will provide ... to use mobile banking and payment services.      ... a key innovation area for financial services, but it also ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... LONDON , April 26, 2016 ... EdgeVerve Systems, a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: ... a partnership to integrate the Onegini mobile security ... (Logo: ) The ... enhanced security to access and transact across channels. ...
(Date:4/19/2016)... 20, 2016 The new GEZE ... compact web-based "all-in-one" system solution for all door components. ... or the door interface with integration authorization management system, ... systems. The minimal dimensions of the access control and ... building installations offer considerable freedom of design with regard ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):