In spintronics one of the main goals is to use the electron spin as the information carrier in electronic devices instead of the charge. This will offer smaller and faster devices with much less heat convection. Therefore, new applications for the generation, the manipulation and the detection of spin currents have been developed in the last years.
In the very new and active research field of spin caloritronics new spin- and temperature-dependent effects have been investigated. One of the most important effects in this area is the spin Seebeck effect, which describes the generation of spin currents by temperature differences in a magnetic nanostructure. This effect was firstly observed in 2008 in Japan and supported the rise of the spin caloritronics research.
Another very new spin manipulating effect is the spin Hall magnetoresistance, which was firstly observed in 2013. Here, the resistance of a non-magnetic material depends on the magnetization of an attached ferromagnetic material due to spin absorption from one material into the other. This effect can be explained by a non-equilibrium proximity effect, which describes the spin polarization at the interface due to a combination of spin Hall and inverse spin Hall effect.
In order to observe pure spin effects, one needs ferro- or ferrimagnetic material, which should be insulating or semiconducting. Thus, parasitic charge based effects can be excluded. In our group we investigate thin films of yttrium-iron-garnet (magnetic insulator), nickelferrite (magnetic semiconductor) and magnetite (weak magnetic conductor) in order to study the influence of parasitic effects on these very new spin-dependent effects. Furthermore, our group participates in the priority programme 'Spin Caloric Transport (SpinCaT)' of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and we are looking for motivated students to explore the wide field of spin caloritronics.
Additionally, we use different magnetooptic techniques based on the magnetooptic Kerr effect. Recently, we developed a dual-beam vectorial magnetometer using different wavelengths and a three-dimensional magnet. With this machine we want to characterize the magnetic nanostructures, develop new measurement techniques and explore new quadratic electric and magnetooptic effects.
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