Welcome to the Zink Research Lab in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Denver!




Our work is in experimental condensed matter physics, exploring themes of order and disorder in novel materials and small structures primarily through studies of thermal, electronic, thermoelectric, and spin transport. Many of these measurements are enabled by micro- and nanofabrication of specialized thermal isolation platforms and other structures that enable accurate control and measurement of thermal gradients. Applications of our work range from nanoscience to nonproliferation.

Please explore this page for more information on who we are and what we do! The menus above describe our current projects, people, equipment, publications, etc... Note also that this page is, and probably always will be in some sense, under construction...

Latest News:


Feb, 2020: Paper on absolute and relative Seebeck effect in thin films and nanostructures published in Journal of Applied Physics


This paper is the first in a long list of things we want to finally finish in 2020.  This shows one way to extract the absolute Seebeck coefficient from thermoelectric measurements made with micro- and nanomachined structures like our silicon-nitride platforms.  Thanks to all who contributed, and the JAP editors for making it an "Editor's Pick!"  Check it out here. 

Nov, 2019: Zink Group presents three posters and a contributed talk at MMM, in Las Vegas NV

Prof. Zink also served as one of the Program Committee Chairs.  Fun, but intense! One highlight was the glow-in-the-dark KISS mini golf at the Student Reception. 


Sept, 2019: Rachel Bennet and Alex Hojem's work on membrane-suspended non-local spin valves published in Physical Review B

This was a fun and interesting project where we used extreme measures to apply large in-plane thermal gradients to the ferromagnetic nanowires in a non-local spin valve, producing large and quantifiable anomalous Nernst effect contributions.  Check it out here.

Sept, 2019: Prof. Xin Fan's group publishes work on Anomalous Spin Orbit Torques in Nature Nanotech

With some minor contributions from us...check it out here


May-June, 2019: New sample prep clean room installed, and limited He recovery from DU Chem & BioChem NMR underway...

Leo Hernandez and friends completed installation for a new, cleaner home for our bonder and sample storage.  We have also devised a very home-grown solution to recovering He gas from the NMR across the street...

Mar-Apr 2019: The Zink Lab is excited to host Prof. Yayoi Takamura (UC Davis Mat. Sci.) for part of her Sabbatical



We enjoyed discussions and talks with Yayoi, as well as a lovely group party with some fine golf swings on display...

Dec, 2018: (slowly) Getting back to business....

With a huge amount of effort from the PhD student crew, we are slowly getting things back up and running.  Not at full speed yet...

Fall 2018: Umm...that's not ideal...


 

Unfortunately, lab had to entirely shut down for asbestos abatement.  Will return asap, and at least somewhat better than before...


May, 2018: Latest work on thermoelectric effects in metallic ferromagnets published in Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics.

Our (probably) final work, again led by Devin Wesenberg, clarifying that spin currents are not generated by in-plane thermal gradients on mm-scales in metallic ferromagnets.  The result includes a unique, direct comparison of the planar Nernst effect and planar Hall effect for a single thin-film sample.  This suggests a possible violation of the Mott relation of these transverse thermoelectric effects.  Find it here.

Dec, 2017: Congratulations to Dr. Devin Wesenberg on a very successful Ph.D. defense, and good luck at Lam!

 


Oct, 2017: Our surprising results on nonlocal spin transport in disordered YIG published in Nature Physics

Experiments led by Devin Wesenberg on material grown by Mingzhong Wu's group at CSU, with contributions from our colleague Davor Balzar:   https://www.nature.com/articles/nphys4175


Oct, 2017: Delivery and installation of our "new" SQUID magnetometer!

Adding critical tools for understanding magnetism in materials, including disordered systems for spin transport.

 


Sept, 2017: Paper on n- and p-type thermoelectric carbon nanotube films (in collaboration with NREL) published in Energy & Environmental Sciences

Remarkable properties of highly tuned materials prepared by NREL, with thermal conductivity measured here.  Check it out...here.


Aug, 2017: Prof. Fan and Zink's Groups Host the 4th Annual Front Range Magnetics Symposium (FRAMS) at DU.

We enjoyed hosting our colleagues from CSU, CU Boulder, UCCS, U. Wyoming, and NIST for an exciting day of talks, posters, and discussions.  Thanks to all who contributed!

 

 

Aug, 2017: Delivery and installation of our liquid helium recycling facility! 

Thanks for NSF for supporting this critical infrastructure.  

Homegrown He on tap

Nov, 2016: Zink group members (BLZ, Rachel Bennet, and Alex Hojem) attended MMM in New Orleans, LA. 

Participation in an epic floating welcome banquet was a highlight!
Natchez

July 21, 2016: Thermal spin injection PRB published, and highlighted as an Editor's Suggestion!

June 30, 2016: Alex's Hojem's work on thermal spin injection in non-local spin valves accepted by Phys. Rev. B

June 26-30, 2016:  DU Physics makes a strong showing at Magnetic North V, at UC Colorado Springs.  Many congratulations to Devin Wesenberg for winning best poster!

DUatMNV
Members of the Zink and Fan groups from left to right: Alex Hojem, BLZ, Alisha Karatsoupa, Devin Wesenberg, Wandy Li, Rachel Bennet and XF.

May 2, 2016: Paper on spin transport through magnetic oxides and large spin Hall angle in impure gold films, collaboration with the University of Minnesota and the Walther Meissner Institute published in Physical Review B!

April 4, 2016: Paper on improved thermoelectric properties in carbon nanotube/polymer hybrid films, collaboration with NREL and KAIST published online in Nature EnergyAlso discussed in a "News & Views" article, "Thermoelectrics: Carbon nanotubes get high." 

Mar. 20-23: Prof. Zink participates in "MXLS-2016, New Opportunities for Magnetic Dynamics and Materials," workshop in Vail, CO.  Even makes it back to Denver despite the Blizzard of 2016.

Mar. 16, 2016: Prof. Zink presents results on tunable thermoelectric properties of Carbon Nanotube thin films from DU/MSU/NREL/KAIST collaboration at APS March Meeting, Baltimore, MD.

Mar, 2016:  Zink Group welcomes PhD student Rachel Bennet!

Feb. 2016: Revived a group web page!

Jan. 11-15, 2016:  Zink group presents two posters and a contributed talk at the 2016 Joint MMM/Intermag.

Dec. 8, 2015: PRB paper on thermal conductivity in Py, Al, Co, Cu thin films published online!(http://journals.aps.org/prb/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevB.92.214410)

Sept. 22, 2015: Alex Hojem selected as Best Poster Awardee at the first Front Range Advanced Magnetics Symposium (FRAMS) for his contribution on thermal effects in non local spin valves.  Congratulations Alex!

Alex Frams

Mar-June 2015: Prof. Zink in residence at NIST Boulder Quantum Devices Group as part of sabbatical. 

Jan-Feb 2015: Prof. Zink in residence at University of Minnesota CEMS Department as George T. Piercy Distinguished Visiting Professor

Nov. 2014: Zink Group members present two posters at MMM 2014, Honolulu, Hawaii





Thanks to our current and past sponsors: