Date of Award
Physics and Astronomy
Barry L. Zink, Ph.D.
Carbon nanotubes, Seebeck effect, Spin caloritronics, Spintronics, Thermal transport, Thin films
Understanding of fundamental physics of transport properties in thin film nanostructures is crucial for application in spintronic, spin caloritronics and thermoelectric applications. Much of the difficulty in the understanding stems from the measurement itself. In this dissertation I present our thermal isolation platform that is primarily used for detection of thermally induced effects in a wide variety of materials. We can accurately and precisely produce in-plane thermal gradients in these membranes, allowing for thin film measurements on 2-D structures. First, we look at thermoelectric enhancements of doped semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotube thin films. We use the Wiedemann-Franz law to calculate contributions to thermal conductivity and find interesting underlying physics as we dope the films, thus changing the Fermi level. Adapting the tube diameter leads to structural differences, which greatly affects both phonon and electron contributions to thermal conductivity. These unique films can be designed as thermoelectric materials that are easy to manufacture and can be utilized in a variety of situations. Second, we look at work measuring enhanced contributions to thermopower and thermal conductivity of unique ferromagnetic metals. We observe improved thermopower due to the ultra-low damping of the magnon system. For spintronic and spin caloritronic applications, having a low damping is important for device engineering and allows for long spin lifetimes. Third, we present on spin transport through disordered magnetic insulators. We observe spin Hall effect driven magnon transport through materials with no long-range order but with local antiferromagnetic exchange interactions. We are the first to observe this type of transport, which may lead spintronic investigations in a new and profound direction. Finally, we look at transverse effects in a thin ferromagnetic metal. Our observation of the planer Nernst effect and planar Hall effect across long length scales shows that effects in this range are dominated by traditional magneto-thermoelectric effects without any evidence of spin transport. A careful understanding of thermal and electric gradients is needed to aid in understanding of transport properties of thin films.
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Wesenberg, Devin John, "Heat, Charge and Spin Transport of Thin Film Nanostructures" (2018). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1404.
Received from ProQuest
Devin John Wesenberg