Thermal transport and spin-dependent Seebeck effect in parallel step- like zigzag graphene nanoribbon junctions

XY Tan and LL Liu and GF Du and HH Fu, PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 22, 19100-19107 (2020).

DOI: 10.1039/d0cp02732d

By using nonequilibrium molecular dynamics, thermal transport through a series of parallel step-like graphene nanoribbon (GNR) junctions is investigated. The theoretical results show that the thermal current flows preferentially from wide GNRs to narrow ones, displaying a pronounced thermal rectification effect. Moreover, several step-like GNR-based devices are designed, and the thermally driven spin-dependent currents are calculated by using density functional theory combined with the nonequilibrium Green's function approach. We find that thermal spin- dependent currents with opposite flow directions are generated when a temperature gradient is applied along the GNRs, indicating the occurrence of a spin-dependent Seebeck effect (SDSE). More interestingly, a negative differential SDSE occurs in the thermal spin currents, and the odd and even law appears in the spin-dependent currents, thermopowers and thermoelectric conversion efficiencies. Our theoretical results indicate that the parallel step-like GNRs are potential candidates to design spin caloritronics devices hosting thermal rectification and multiple thermal-spin transport functionalities.

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