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Long-range spin Seebeck effect and acoustic spin pumping


Imagine that a metallic wire is attached to a part of a large insulator, which itself exhibits no magnetization. It seems impossible for electrons in the wire to register where the wire is positioned on the insulator. Here we found that, using a Ni81Fe19/Pt bilayer wire on an insulating sapphire plate, electrons in the wire recognize their position on the sapphire. Under a temperature gradient in the sapphire, surprisingly, the voltage generated in the Pt layer is shown to reflect the wire position, although the wire is isolated both electrically and magnetically. This non-local voltage is due to the coupling of spins and phonons: the only possible carrier of information in this system. We demonstrate this coupling by directly injecting sound waves, which realizes the acoustic spin pumping. Our finding provides a persuasive answer to the long-range nature of the spin Seebeck effect1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8, and it opens the door to ‘acoustic spintronics’ in which sound waves are exploited for constructing spin-based devices.

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Figure 1: Concept of the acoustic SSE.
Figure 2: Voltage measurement under temperature gradient.
Figure 3: Wire-position dependence.
Figure 4: Acoustic spin pumping.

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The authors thank G. E. W. Bauer, J. Xiao, J. P. Heremans, R. C. Myers, J. Sinova, B. J. van Wees and T. Ono for valuable discussions. This work was supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research in Priority Area ‘Creation and Control of Spin Current’ (19048009, 19048028), a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research A (21244058), the global COE for the ‘Materials Integration International Centre of Education and Research’, all from MEXT, Japan, a Grant for Industrial Technology Research from NEDO, Japan, and Fundamental Research Grants from CREST-JST ‘Creation of Nanosystems with Novel Functions through Process Integration’, PRESTO-JST, TRF and TUIAREO, Japan.

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K.U. designed the experiments, fabricated the samples, collected all of the data and carried out analysis of the data. E.S. planned and supervised the study. T.A., T.O. and M.T. supported the experiments. H.A. and S.M. developed the explanation of the experiments. K.U., H.A., B.H. and E.S. wrote the manuscript. All authors discussed the results and commented on the manuscript.

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Correspondence to E. Saitoh.

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Uchida, K., Adachi, H., An, T. et al. Long-range spin Seebeck effect and acoustic spin pumping. Nature Mater 10, 737–741 (2011).

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