In a pure spin current, electrons of opposite spins flow in opposite directions, thus information is conveyed by spin current without any charge current. This process almost causes no power consumption, which has the potential to realize ultra-low-power-consumption electronics. Recently, thermal effects in magnetic materials have attracted a great deal of attention because of its potential to generate pure spin currents using a thermal gradient (∇T), such as the spin Seebeck effect. However, unlike electric potential, the exact thermal gradient direction is experimentally difficult to control, which has already caused misinterpretation of the thermal effects in Py and Py/Pt films. In this work, we show that a well-defined ∇T can be created by two thermoelectric coolers (TECs) based on Peltier effect. The ∇T as well as its sign can be accurately controlled by the driven voltage on the TECs. Using a square-wave driven potential, thermal effects of a few μV can be measured. Using this technique, we have measured the anomalous Nernst effect in magnetic Co/Py and Py/Pt layers and determined their angular dependence. The angular dependence shows the same symmetry as the anomalous Hall effect in these films.
This work has been carried out under the guidance of the author’s thesis advisor, Professor Tingyong Chen.