Physical Review Letters

Scanning Thermal Microscopy and Ballistic Phonon Transport in Lateral Spin Valves

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Using scanning thermal microscopy, we have mapped the spatial distribution of temperatures in an operating nanoscale device formed from a magnetic injector, an Ag connecting wire, and a magnetic detector. An analytical model explained the thermal diffusion over the measured temperature range (2-300 K) and injector-detector separation (400-3000 nm). The characteristic diffusion lengths of the Peltier and Joule heat differ remarkably below 60 K, a fact that can be explained by the onset of ballistic phonon heat transfer in the substrate.