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Information für die Wissenschaft Nr. 39 | 29. Juli 2010
Priority Programme 1538 “Spin-Caloric Transport“

The Senate of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) has announced the establishment of a new Priority Programme, entitled “Spin Caloric Transport”. The programme is designed to run for six years. 

Spin polarized currents in magnetic nanostructures give rise to novel spin caloric effects. These effects modify thermal transport, magneto-resistance and possibly even magnetic states. To understand the observed effects an extension of thermodynamic laws including the spin is inevitable. It is long known that heat and charge currents are closely linked to each other by, e.g., the Wiedemann-Franz law which connects thermal and electrical conductivities. The coupling leads to thermoelectric effects with prominent examples being the Seebeck effect and its inverse, the Peltier effect, which may be described through the Onsager relations. These effects are used in devices such as thermocouples and thermo-electric cooling devices, respectively. It became clear only recently that these long-known thermoelectric phenomena need to be re-considered by including the spin. This avenue is expected to generate completely new spin-related properties in the solid state. 

The hypothesis that in magnetic systems spin entropy can be created, manipulated and transported by non-equilibrium charge and heat currents is compelling. Non-equilibrium magneto-caloric transport effects such as the Nernst-Ettingshausen effects will face novel spin and anomalous counterparts. Spin transport phenomena in the presence of a thermal gradient or the lateral transport of heat via magnetic excitations need to be studied. 

The aim of the Priority Programme “Spin Caloric Transport (SpinCaT)” is to develop the new research field of caloric effects in spin transport. The research programme will focus on four priority areas. Submitted proposals should address at least one of the following topics: 

  • spin caloric effects and spin mediated heat transport in planar geometry

  • thermal spin-based conductivities across interfaces in nanopatterned magnetic devices

  • spin currents induced by large temperature gradients

  • materials for spin caloric applications 

To focus the activities, materials to be investigated should show strong magnetic interactions such as magnetic order or large spin orbit coupling. Semiconductor material development and bulk materials will not be considered. The aim of the programme is to explore effects at room temperature. While some key experiments will have to be carried out at low temperatures, a clear strategy to reach spin-caloric room temperature effects should be given. 

A workshop aiming at the establishment of scientific networking will take place at the Frankfurt Airport Conference Center on 27 September 2010. All potential applicants are invited to participate in the preparation workshop and are asked to contact the scientific coordinator as soon as possible. 

Proposals for the initial three-year funding period should be submitted in English on paper and as PDF-files on CD-ROM (including the proposal and all appendices, e.g. publications) to the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, attn. Dr. Michael Mößle, 53170 Bonn, keyword “SPP 1538 – Spin-Caloric Transport” not later than 31 October 2010.

The evaluation workshop is planned for 20/21 January 2011 at the Physikzentrum in Bad Honnef. The first funding period will start in July 2011.

Further Information

A guideline for the composition of proposals is given in the DFG leaflet 1.02e at:

For scientific enquiries concerning the scope of the programme please contact the programme coordinator:

(Information on the Priority Programme will be available and updated on the website www.spincat.info.) 

For administrative enquiries please contact:

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