Heat to Generate Electrical Current

Heat to Generate Electrical Current


Heat is generated by a lot of electronic devices every single day and that generated heat is wasted in most of the cases. Physicists at Bielfeld University, Germany have come up with a way to make use of the heat that is generated everyday by many of the electronic devices. Magnetic signals termed as ‘spin currents’, are generated through the application of heat. It is hoped that in near future, these very signals could be used to replace a few of the electric current that is found in electronic components.

Data Processing to Become More Effective and Energy-effecient

The team of physicists from the German university, Bielfeld University, are researching towards making data processing more energy efficient and effective in the field of “spin caloritronics” which is a new one. These physicists are members of the group called ‘Thin Films and Physics of Nanostructures’.

Differences of temperature between the two ends of an electronic component generate spin current. These components, however, are extremely miniscule in size and has a thickness of about one millionth of a millimeter. These elements are called nanostructures and are made of magnetic materials like nickel, cobalt, or iron.

In this new research, these nanostructures are being used by the physicists and made to go through the process wherein heat is applied with a focused laser or a hot nanowire. Specifically spin oriented electrons are then made to pass through this metal oxide thereby making spin current. According to the researchers, magnetic nanostructures that come with a special mixture that comprise aluminum, silicon, cobalt, and iron have proved to be productive.

This experiments were conducted in close cooperation with the team that is led by Professor Dr. Christian Heiliger coming from the Justus Liebig University in Gießen and Professor Dr. Markus Münzenberg from Ernst Moritz Arndt University in Greifswald.