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Jul. 2016

The Hot Attraction of Gold

 Gold had long been considered a non-magnetic metal. But researchers at Tohoku University recently discovered that gold can in fact be magnetized by applying heat.

 They discovered that an electron spin - the origin of magnetism - plays an important role in a material's functionality at a non-constant temperature, where the magnetization and the heat flow interact. A subsequent experiment confirmed, for the first time, that magnetization in gold can be induced by the heat flow driven by a temperature change.

 The set up of the experiment was quite simple, involving a bilayer comprising Yttrium iron garnet (YIG), which is an insulator magnet, and a thin film of gold. (Fig below).

 In the experiment, the temperature of the YIG side and that of the gold side were kept different to drive a heat flow perpendicular to the bilayer. In addition, a magnetic field was applied in parallel to the heat flow. Under this condition, the Hall voltage*1 was measured in the gold film by in-plane electric current. The Hall voltage showed a clear proportional dependence on the applied temperature gradient.

 The team interpreted this Hall voltage as evidence of the evolution of magnetization in the thin gold film due to the heat flow. The Hall voltage was named as a non-equilibrium anomalous Hall effect (nAHE).

 "We are excited about the potential of this measurement as a standard method of detecting non-equilibrium magnetization because there's no need for complicated processing and technologies as compared to other highly sensitive magnetometry," says researcher Dazhi Hou. "On top of that, we can detect extremely small magnitudes of magnetization in this measurement. Such small magnetizations is the key to revealing as-yet-unknown useful properties of matters."

 "These findings are expected to contribute to the development of innovative spintronics in the use of thermoelectric applications, like energy harvesting, adds Professor Eiji Saitoh, who led the research.

 Details of this study were published online on July 26, 2016 in Nature Communications. This research was achieved as part of JST-ERATO "Spin Quantum Rectification Project" led by Professor Eiji Saitoh.


 *1 When passing an electrical current on through a conductor and applying a magnetic field perpendicularly to the direction of the current, an electric voltage will be generated in a direction perpendicular to the current and magnetic field.


detail1: press release (in Japanese) [PDF: 595KB]

detail2:Nature Communications Website[DOI:10.1038/NCOMMS12265]


Hall voltage measurement in the bilayer system under the temperature gradient and external magnetic field perpendicular to the bilayer.



Quantum Hall effect in a bulk antiferromagnet EuMnBi2 with magnetically confined two-dimensional Dirac fermions.

For the innovation of spintronic technologies, Dirac materials, in which low-energy excitation is described as relativistic Dirac fermions, are one of the most promising systems because of the fascinating magnetotransport associated with extremely high mobility. To incorporate Dirac fermions into spintronic applications, their quantum transport phenomena are desired to be manipulated to a large extent by magnetic order in a solid.

We report a bulk half-integer quantum Hall effect in a layered antiferromagnet EuMnBi2, in which field-controllable Eu magnetic order significantly suppresses the interlayer coupling between the Bi layers with Dirac fermions. In addition to the high mobility of more than 10,000 cm2/V s, Landau level splittings presumably due to the lifting of spin and valley degeneracy are noticeable even in a bulk magnet. These results will pave a route to the engineering of magnetically functionalized Dirac materials.

This research was conducted through collaborative research with Tokyo University, Osaka University, RIKEN, High Energy Accelerator Research Organization and IMR. This article carried in Science Advances.


detail1: press release (in Japanese) [PDF:940KB]

detail2: Science Advances Website [DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1501117]


Enhanced output of a giant magnetoresistance device for hard disc drive application.

Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Co., Inc. (MGC), Tohoku University's Advanced Institute for Material Research (AIMR) and Institute for Materials Research (IMR) have developed mass production technology for LiBH4-based solid electrolytes.


These electrolytes are created based on technology developed by Tohoku University, and are suitable as they are flexible and can adhere well to the electrode layer.


There are 2 types of these electrolytes: LiBH4-LiI solid solution and LiBH4-LiNH2 based solid electrolyte. MGC will start supplying the sample of these electrolytes.


For more information on these LiBH4-based solid electrolytes, join MGC at the following conferences.


-nano tech 2016 - The 15th International Nanotechnology

Exhibition & Conference

Dates: January 27 - 29, 2016

Venue: Tokyo Big Sight, Japan

Booth: 6C-06



-7th Int'l Rechargeable Battery Expo (BATTERY JAPAN)

Dates: March 2 - 4, 2016

Venue: Tokyo Big Sight, Japan

Booth: W29-32