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Chirality from interfacial spin-orbit coupling effects in magnetic bilayers



Kyoung-Whan Kim, Hyun-Woo Lee, Kyung Jin Lee, Mark D. Stiles


Spin-orbit coupling causes many properties that make magnets technologically important as well as properties that interfere with optimal performance. As nanomagnetic devices scale to smaller sizes, spin-orbit coupling due to the broken structural inversion symmetry at interfaces becomes increasingly important. Here we use a minimal two-dimensional model of itinerant electrons near the interface to show that the interfacial spin-orbit coupling generates chiral effects such as the interfacial Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction, chiral spin torques, and spin-dependent chiral electromagnetic fields. All these effects are mutually correlated and are related through a curved space description. The latter reveals the frustration in magnetic ground state. In magnetic bilayers, these chiral effects lead to very efficient current-induced magnetization dynamics. Such effects may also be relevant for high-mobility two-dimensional electron gas at the interface between insulating oxides.
Physical Review Letters


Spintronics, magnetic dynamics, spin-orbit coupling, Rashba interaction, itinerant electrons, Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction, Chirality, magnetic bilayers
Created November 19, 2013, Updated November 10, 2018