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Theory of Kondo suppression of spin polarization in nonlocal spin valves



Kyoung-Whan Kim, Liam O'Brien, Paul A. Crowell, C. Leighton, Mark D. Stiles


We theoretically analyze contributions from the Kondo effect to the spin polarization and spin diffusion length in all-metal nonlocal spin valves. Interdiffusion of ferromagnetic atoms into the normal metal layer creates a region in which Kondo physics plays a significant role, giving discrepancies between experiment and existing theory. We start from a simple model and construct a modified spin drift-diffusion equation which clearly demonstrates how the Kondo physics not only suppresses the electrical conductivity but even more strongly reduces the spin diffusion length. We also present an explicit expression for the suppression of spin polarization due to Kondo physics in an illustrative regime. We compare this theory to previous experimental data to extract an estimate of the Elliot-Yafet parameter for Kondo scattering of 0.7 plus/minus 0.4, in good agreement with the value of 2/3 derived in the original theory of Kondo.
Physical Review B


Kondo effect, spin valve, spin transport, spintronics, spin-flip scattering, drift-diffusion


Kim, K. , O'Brien, L. , Crowell, P. , Leighton, C. and Stiles, M. (2017), Theory of Kondo suppression of spin polarization in nonlocal spin valves, Physical Review B, [online],, (Accessed February 21, 2024)
Created March 6, 2017, Updated October 12, 2021