Thermoelectric Power Factor Enhancement by Spin-Polarized Currents—A Nanowire Case Study
Thermoelectric (TE) measurements have been performed on the workhorses of today's data storage devices, exhibiting either the giant or the anisotropic magnetoresistance effect (GMR and AMR). The temperature-dependent (50–300 K) and magnetic field-dependent (up to 1 T) TE power factor (PF) has been determined for several CoNi alloy nanowires with varying Co:Ni ratios as well as for CoNi/Cu multilayered nanowires with various Cu layer thicknesses, which are all synthesized via a template-assisted electrodeposition process. A systematic investigation of the resistivity, as well as the Seebeck coefficient, is performed for CoNi alloy nanowires and CoNi/Cu multilayered nanowires. At room temperature, measured values of TE PFs up to 3.6 mW K−2 m−1 for AMR samples and 2.0 mW K−2 m−1 for GMR nanowires are obtained. Furthermore, the TE PF is found to increase by up to 13.1% for AMR CoNi alloy nanowires and by up to 52% for GMR CoNi/Cu samples in an external applied magnetic field. The magnetic nanowires exhibit TE PFs that are of the same order of magnitude as TE PFs of BiSbSeTe based thermoelectric materials and, additionally, give the opportunity to adjust the TE power output to changing loads and hotspots through external magnetic fields.