Nature 2018 05 21558(7708) 95-99 doi 10.1038/s41586-018-0143-x


The Peltier effect, discovered in 1834, converts a charge current into a heat current in a conductor, and its performance is described by the Peltier coefficient, which is defined as the ratio of the generated heat current to the applied charge current. To exploit the Peltier effect for thermoelectric cooling or heating, junctions of two conductors with different Peltier coefficients have been believed to be indispensable. Here we challenge this conventional wisdom by demonstrating Peltier cooling and heating in a single material without junctions. This is realized through an anisotropic magneto-Peltier effect in which the Peltier coefficient depends on the angle between the directions of a charge current and magnetization in a ferromagnet. By using active thermography techniques, we observe the temperature change induced by this effect in a plain nickel slab. We find that the thermoelectric properties of the ferromagnet can be redesigned simply by changing the configurations of the charge current and magnetization, for instance, by shaping the ferromagnet so that the current must flow around a curve. Our experimental results demonstrate the suitability of nickel for the anisotropic magneto-Peltier effect and the importance of spin-orbit interaction in its mechanism. The anisotropic magneto-Peltier effect observed here is the missing thermoelectric phenomenon in ferromagnetic materials-the Onsager reciprocal of the anisotropic magneto-Seebeck effect previously observed in ferromagnets-and its simplicity might prove useful in developing thermal management technologies for electronic and spintronic devices.