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Interface-generated spin currents



Vivek P. Amin, Jan Zemen, Mark D. Stiles


Transport calculations based on ab-initio band structures reveal large interface-generated spin currents at Co/Pt, Co/Cu, and Pt/Cu interfaces. These spin currents are driven by in-plane electric fields but flow out-of-plane, and can have similar strengths to spin currents generated by the spin Hall effect in bulk Pt. Each interface generates spin currents with polarization along $\zhat \times \threevec{E}$, where $\zhat$ is the interface normal and $\threevec{E}$ denotes the electric field. The Co/Cu and Co/Pt interfaces additionally generate spin currents with polarization along $\mhat \times (\zhat \times \threevec{E})$, where $\mhat$ gives the magnetization direction of Co. The latter spin polarization is controlled by---but not aligned with---the magnetization, providing a novel mechanism for generating spin torques in magnetic trilayers.
Physical Review Letters


Spintronics, Spin current, Spin-orbit torque, Magnetic memories
Created September 26, 2018, Updated November 10, 2018