Background: Thermoelectric effects result from the coupling of charge and heat transport and can be used for thermometry, cooling and harvesting of thermal energy. The microscopic origin of thermoelectric effects is a broken electron–hole symmetry, which is usually quite small in metal structures. In addition, thermoelectric effects decrease towards low temperatures, which usually makes them vanishingly small in metal nanostructures in the sub-Kelvin regime.
Results: We report on a combined experimental and theoretical investigation of thermoelectric effects in superconductor/ferromagnet hybrid structures. We investigate the dependence of thermoelectric currents on the thermal excitation, as well as on the presence of a dc bias voltage across the junction.
Conclusion: Large thermoelectric effects are observed in superconductor/ferromagnet and superconductor/normal-metal hybrid structures. The spin-independent signals observed under finite voltage bias are shown to be reciprocal to the physics of superconductor/normal-metal microrefrigerators. The spin-dependent thermoelectric signals in the linear regime are due to the couplin ... mehrg of spin and heat transport, and can be used to design more efficient refrigerators.