Researchers design a spin-engine that uses spintronics to harvest energy from heat at room temperatures

An international team of researchers from France and Sweden designed a new concept of an energy harvesting engine based on spintronics and quantum thermodynamics. The basic idea is to use electron spin to harvest thermal fluctuations at room temperature.

Spin-polarized energy landscape of the spin-engine photo

The researchers make use of the fact that paramagnetic centers, or atom-level magnets, fluctuate their spin orientation due to heat. In the so called spin-engine, the a spontaneous bias voltage V appears between the electrodes, and thus a spontaneous current flows once the electrical circuit is closed.

There are still many challenges to create such devices (the team made some initial experiments) - but the researchers say that this concept could create chips that continuously produce electrical power with a power density that is 3x greater than raw solar irradiation on Earth.

Researchers create spin transport channels on curved surfaces

Researchers from the University of Groningen created curved spin transport channels. The researchers discovered that this new geometry makes it possible to independently tune charge and spin currents.

Non-local spin-valve in a curved nano-cahnnel (SEM photo)

Most spintronics devices to date were made from flat surfaces, and this research focused on spin currents behaviors in curved channels. The scientists say that the new research enables the efficient integration of spin injectors and detectors or spin transistors into modern 3D circuitry.