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Barry Zink


  • Faculty

What I do

Heat, charge, and spin flow in nanostructures and novel materials.

Professional Biography

Barry completed his PhD at UC San Diego in 2002, and has earned honors including the Piercy Distinguished Visiting Professorship (U. Minnesota), the NSF CAREER award and the NRC Post-doc. Current projects he and his team of undergraduate, and graduate researchers are exploring range from developing new materials for small-scale cooling and energy conversion to understanding how spin travels in disordered magnetic systems. His group's research has to date been supported by the National Science Foundation (DMR and EECS), the Department of Energy (NNSA), the Nanoelectronics Research Initiative, the Petroleum Research Fund, and others.


  • Ph.D., Materials Science & Engineering, University of California, 2002
  • MS, Physics, University of California, 1998
  • BS, Physics, University of California, 1996

Professional Affiliations

  • American Physical Society
  • Materials Research Society
  • Institute for Electronics and Electrical Engineering, Magnetics Society

Media Sources


Experimental condensed matter and materials physics, focusing on thermal, electronic, and thermoelectric properties of nanostructures and novel materials. Current projects include: thermal transport, thermoelectric effects, and spin transport in ferromagnetic thin films and nanostructures; materials for spintronics and spin current detection; thermal transport in nanostructures and hybrid organic semiconductors for thermoelectric applications; heat capacity and thermal conductance in amorphous dielectrics, metals and superconductors below 1 Kelvin; and growth and characterization of thermoelectric amorphous semiconductor alloy films. Applications of interest range from energy harvesting to nanoelectronics to gamma-ray detectors for nuclear security.

Key Projects

  • CAREER: Electrons, Phonons, and Magnons in Nanostructures and Novel Materials
  • Long-distance spin transport in disordered insulators and low-damping metals
  • Thermal Gradient Engineering For Spin Injection and Transport in Metallic Nanomagnetic Switches and Sensors


Zink, B. L. (2018). Spin Transport in Disordered Materials via Antiferromagnetic Correlations. March Meeting of the American Physical Society. Los Angeles, CA: American Physical Society.
Zink, B. L. (2017). A new (dis)order in spintronics? Long-distance spin transport in amorphous magnetic insulators. Condensed Matter Physics Seminar. Santa Cruz, CA: UC Santa Cruz.
Zink, B. L. (2018). Materials for Spin Transport: Order, Disorder, Distances and Heat. 4th PRSE Center for Advanced Magnetics Workshop. Fort Collins, CO: Colorado State University.


  • National Science Foundation CAREER Award, NSF, Division of Materials Research, Condensed Matter Physics Program
  • George T Piercy Distinguished Visiting Professor, University of Minnesota
  • National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow, National Institute of Standards and Technology
  • Outstanding Referee, American Physical Society: Physical Review Journals
  • Outstanding Referee, Review of Scientific Instruments