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Spin-orbit torques from interfacial spin-orbit coupling for various interfaces



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


We use a perturbative approach to study the effects of interfacial spin-orbit coupling in magnetic multilayers by treating the two-dimensional Rashba model in a fully three-dimensional description of electron transport near an interface. This formalism provides a compact analytic expression for current-induced spin-orbit torques in terms of unperturbed scattering coefficients, allowing computation of spin-orbit torques for various contexts, by simply substituting scattering coefficients into the formulas. It applies to calculations of spin-orbit torques for magnetic bilayers with bulk magnetism, those with interface magnetism, a normal metal/ferromagnetic insulator junction, and a topological insulator/ferromagnet junction. It predicts that a dampinglike component of spin-orbit torque that is distinct from any intrinsic contribution or those that arise from particular spin relaxation mechanisms. We discuss the effects of proximity-induced magnetism and insertion of an additional layer and provide formulas for in-plane current induced by a perpendicular bias, anisotropic magnetoresistance, and spin memory loss in the same formalism.
Physical Review B


Spin transport, spin-orbit torque, Rashba interaction, magnetic bilayers, interface scattering, proximity magnetism


Kim, K. , Lee, K. , Sinova, J. , Lee, H. and Stiles, M. (2017), Spin-orbit torques from interfacial spin-orbit coupling for various interfaces, Physical Review B, [online],, (Accessed April 16, 2024)
Created September 25, 2017, Updated October 12, 2021