Beyond Charge Transport: Spin and Heat Currents in 2D Crystals

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Physics and Astronomy

Abstract

Heat engines provide more than 90% of the energy used in the world, producing the electricity generated by power plants and powering transportation. Thermoelectrics is based on the same thermodynamic principles that govern heat engines, except it uses electrons as its working fluid, rather than steam or air. It is a field that lies at the interface of thermal science and electronics, and has drastically progressed thanks to nanotechnology. Furthermore, spin electronics (spintronics) is an emergent field that exploits the intrinsic angular momentum of the electron, besides its charge traditionally used in modern electronics. It lies at an interface of the traditional fields of magnetism and electronics and becomes accessible only via nanotechnology.

Spin as an additional degree of freedom would provide enhanced functionality to electronics by enabling re-programmable circuits and low power 'green' electronics, thermoelectric technology is currently used in generators and coolers, while graphene is currently explored for its huge application potential. In this project we will explore spintronics (Nobel Prize in Physics 2007) and thermoelectrics in devices based on the remarkable one-atom-thick material graphene, the first truly two-dimensional material discovered in Manchester (Nobel Prize in Physics 2010). In particular, we will study '2D sandwiches', heterostructures where 2D materials interact purely via van der Waals forces, either to enhance their electronic properties or to introduce novel effects. The successful applicant will have access to state-of-the-art cleanroom facilities and instrumentation.

Publications

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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509565/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2021
1916265 Studentship EP/N509565/1 18/09/2017 30/09/2021 Christopher Anderson
 
Description Thermoelectric and thermomagnetic effects have been measured in 2D heterostuctures facilitated by 1D contacts.
Spin transport in the presence of an electric field have been measured in 2D heterostuctures facilitated by 1D contacts.
Exploitation Route Thermopower generation and cooling systems.
The spin transport work adds to the body of knowledge which may result in new faster more efficient computer logic.
Sectors Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Electronics,Energy

 
Description hBN passivated ferromagnetic contact tunnel barriers for spin transport in 2D materials 
Organisation University of Cambridge
Department Department of Engineering
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Design of trial ferromagnetic contacts on substrate. Completion of fabrication by adding graphene flake. Measurement, analysis, interpretation and reporting of electrical and spin properties of the device.
Collaborator Contribution Fabrication of the hBN tunnel junctions by passivation of the ferromagnetic contacts.
Impact None yet
Start Year 2019
 
Title Spin transport simulation 
Description Simulates electron spin transport in a 1D transport channel and includes: - finite and infinite channel lengths - extensible to any number of channel regions each with their own parameters - spin leakage into contacts - application of drift currents - spin valves 
Type Of Technology Physical Model/Kit 
Year Produced 2021 
Impact Useful to predict outcomes of measurements made in the lab and therefore to explain anomalies found 
 
Description Graphene Training for Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre Team 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact To train the Jodrell Bank Visitor Centre Team in the use of the University of Manchester graphene outreach equipment and methods
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Inspiring Future Scientists - University of Manchester 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact The University of Manchester, School of Physics and Astronomy have arrange a course for secondary school students to undertake additional study in Physics. This includes researchers spending time with the students and their teachers. Each school group received either a presentation or interactive discussion with the researcher about their research; I chose to have an interactive discussion.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Inspiring Future Scientists - University of Manchester 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact The University of Manchester, School of Physics and Astronomy have arrange a course for secondary school students to undertake additional study in Physics. This includes researchers spending time with the students and their teachers. Each school group received either a presentation or interactive discussion with the researcher about their research; I chose to have an interactive discussion.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Inspiring Future Scientists - University of Manchester 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact The University of Manchester, School of Physics and Astronomy have arrange a course for secondary school students to undertake additional study in Physics. This includes researchers spending time with the students and their teachers. Each school group received either a presentation or interactive discussion with the researcher about their research; I chose to have an interactive discussion. During lunch time was spent in discussion with the teachers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Outreach Bury Grammar School 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact The school runs a science club for the students. The University of Manchester, Graphene research was invited to attend a science club to talk about graphene and provide practical, hands on demonstrations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description ScienceX - Trafford Centre 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Graphene stand in the Trafford Centre, describing the new wonder material (Graphene); how it's fabricated, used and current research. Open to the general (shopping) public. The public (especially children) were given the opportunity to exfoliate Graphene from Graphite and view it using a microscope.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Stalybridge CoderDojo 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact This is a new CoderDojo which I was introduced to by STEM at the Manchester MOSI. The intent is to assist 7 to 17 year olds to learn to code and will include other technology skills like electronics, control systems, mechanical engineering and future technologies e.g. emerging from fundamental science (physics, chemistry, biology) and mathematics. Amongst other activities, this month we exfoliated graphene and observed under a microscope
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Teacher visit to Condensed Matter Physics Group 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I showed them my area of research and had quite a long discussion with them. They have gone away with a lot of ideas about how they may be able to take advantage of the opportunity.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Tomorrow's Engineers Energy Quest 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Tomorrow's Engineers Energy Quest is an exciting programme funded by Shell and delivered across England by Learn by Design on behalf of EngineeringUK. The programme consists of a 2-3 hour in-school workshop which explores renewable energy and careers in engineering, followed by The Bright Ideas Challenge competition. During the workshop, up to 60 KS3 students will receive an introduction to engineering to try and dispel some of the myths and misconceptions around it, take part in a group activity on 'the Energy Mix' and run the exciting Electric Car Challenge. STEM ambassadors support the facilitator at the Energy Quest workshops. The main role of the ambassador is to mentor the students when carrying out their activities, encouraging them to think like an engineer. At the end of the workshop, the ambassador has the opportunity to give a short talk about their career and their journey into STEM, and invite the students to ask questions. I attended the morning and afternoon workshops.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019