Transport measurements are carried out in which temperature oscillation is applied to magnetic nanostructures. Using spin valves, this measurement reveals aspects of the spin transport in non-collinear configurations. In one implementation, an AC voltage is detected when a DC current is driven through the nanostructure under test and its temperature is made to oscillate by illuminating it with a laser diode. A simpler approach is presented that relies on Joule heating to generate the temperature oscillation, thus eliminating the need for any optical component. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.