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      Spin-pumping into surface states of topological insulator {\alpha}-Sn, spin to charge conversion at room temperature

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          Abstract

          We present experimental results on the conversion of a spin current into a charge current by spin pumping into the Dirac cone with helical spin polarization of the elemental topological insulator (TI) {\alpha}-Sn[1-3]. By angle-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy (ARPES) we first confirm that the Dirac cone at the surface of {\alpha}-Sn (0 0 1) layers subsists after covering with Ag. Then we show that resonant spin pumping at room temperature from Fe through Ag into {\alpha}-Sn layers induces a lateral charge current that can be ascribed to the Inverse Edelstein Effect[4-5]. Our observation of an Inverse Edelstein Effect length[5-6] much longer than for Rashba interfaces[5-10] demonstrates the potential of the TI for conversion between spin and charge in spintronic devices. By comparing our results with data on the relaxation time of TI free surface states from time-resolved ARPES, we can anticipate the ultimate potential of TI for spin to charge conversion and the conditions to reach it.

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          Spin polarization of conduction electrons induced by electric current in two-dimensional asymmetric electron systems

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            Spin Transfer Torque Generated by the Topological Insulator Bi_2Se_3

            Magnetic devices are a leading contender for implementing memory and logic technologies that are nonvolatile, that can scale to high density and high speed, and that do not suffer wear-out. However, widespread applications of magnetic memory and logic devices will require the development of efficient mechanisms for reorienting their magnetization using the least possible current and power. There has been considerable recent progress in this effort, in particular discoveries that spin-orbit interactions in heavy metal/ferromagnet bilayers can yield strong current-driven torques on the magnetic layer, via the spin Hall effect in the heavy metal or the Rashba-Edelstein effect in the ferromagnet. As part of the search for materials to provide even more efficient spin-orbit-induced torques, some proposals have suggested topological insulators (TIs), which possess a surface state in which the effects of spin-orbit coupling are maximal in the sense that an electron's spin orientation is locked relative to its propagation direction. Here we report experiments showing that charge current flowing in-plane in a thin film of the TI Bi_2Se_3 at room temperature can indeed apply a strong spin-transfer torque to an adjacent ferromagnetic permalloy (Py = Ni81Fe19) thin film, with a direction consistent with that expected from the topological surface state. We find that the strength of the torque per unit charge current density in the Bi_2Se_3 is greater than for any other spin-torque source material measured to date, even for non-ideal TI films wherein the surface states coexist with bulk conduction. Our data suggest that TIs have potential to enable very efficient electrical manipulation of magnetic materials at room temperature for memory and logic applications.
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              Spin-to-charge conversion using Rashba coupling at the interface between non-magnetic materials.

              The Rashba effect is an interaction between the spin and the momentum of electrons induced by the spin-orbit coupling (SOC) in surface or interface states. Its potential for conversion between charge and spin currents has been theoretically predicted but never clearly demonstrated for surfaces or interfaces of metals. Here we present experiments evidencing a large spin-charge conversion by the Bi/Ag Rashba interface. We use spin pumping to inject a spin current from a NiFe layer into a Bi/Ag bilayer and we detect the resulting charge current. As the charge signal is much smaller (negligible) with only Bi (only Ag), the spin-to-charge conversion can be unambiguously ascribed to the Rashba coupling at the Bi/Ag interface. This result demonstrates that the Rashba effect at interfaces can be used for efficient charge-spin conversion in spintronics.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                2015-09-09
                Article
                10.1103/PhysRevLett.116.096602
                1509.02973

                http://arxiv.org/licenses/nonexclusive-distrib/1.0/

                Custom metadata
                Phys. Rev. Lett. 116, 096602 (2016)
                14 pages, 5 figures
                cond-mat.mes-hall

                Nanophysics

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