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Information für die Wissenschaft Nr. 44 | 29. Juli 2013
Priority Programme “Spin Caloric Transport (SpinCaT)“ (SPP 1538)

The Senate of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) has announced the second funding period of the Priority Programme (Schwerpunktprogramm, SPP) entitled “Spin Caloric Transport (SpinCaT)”(SPP 1538). The programme will start its second three-year period in summer 2014.

Spin polarised 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.

Proposals for the second three-year funding period can be submitted by 15 November 2013 through the DFG’s electronic proposal processing system “elan”. In this system please select “SPP 1538 – Spin Caloric Transport (SpinCaT)” when submitting your proposal. All proposals must be written in English.

The evaluation workshop is planned for 20/21 February 2014 at the Physikzentrum in Bad Honnef.

Further information

The DFG’s electronic portal “elan” can be found at:

Proposal guidelines and preparation instructions are outlined in DFG forms 54.01en and 50.05en, part B, which can be found on the DFG’s website at:

For further information please refer to the Priority Programme’s webpage:

For scientific enquiries concerning the scope of the programme please contact the Priority Programme’s coordinator:

For administrative enquiries please contact: