Observation of nuclear-spin Seebeck effect


T. Kikkawa, D. Reitz, H. Ito, T. Makiuchi, T. Sugimoto, K. Tsunekawa, S. Daimon, K. Oyanagi, R. Ramos, S. Takahashi, Y. Shiomi, Y. Tserkovnyak, and E. Saitoh

Thermoelectric effects have been applied to power generators and temperature sensors that convert waste heat into electricity. The effects, however, have been limited to electrons to occur, and inevitably disappear at low temperatures due to electronic entropy quenching. Here, we report thermoelectric generation caused by nuclear spins in a solid: nuclear-spin Seebeck effect. The sample is a magnetically ordered material MnCO3 having a large nuclear spin (I = 5/2) of 55Mn nuclei and strong hyperfine coupling, with a Pt contact. In the system, we observe low-temperature thermoelectric signals down to 100 mK due to nuclear-spin excitation. Our theoretical calculation in which interfacial Korringa process is taken into consideration quantitatively reproduces the results. The nuclear thermoelectric effect demonstrated here offers a way for exploring thermoelectric science and technologies at ultralow temperatures.

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