Recent Submissions

  • Spin-transfer torque generated by a topological insulator

    Mellnik, A. R.; Lee, Joonsue; Richardella, Anthony R.; Grab, J. L.; Mintun, P. J.; Fischer, Mark H.; Vaezi, Abolhassan; Manchon, Aurelien; Kim, Eunah; Samarth, Nitin S.; Ralph, Daniel C. (Springer Nature, 2014-07-23)
    Magnetic devices are a leading contender for the implementation of memory and logic technologies that are non-volatile, that can scale to high density and high speed, and that do not wear out. However, widespread application 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, it has been discovered that spin-orbit interactions in heavy-metal/ferromagnet bilayers can produce 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. In the search for materials to provide even more efficient spin-orbit-induced torques, some proposals have suggested topological insulators, 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 fixed relative to its propagation direction. Here we report experiments showing that charge current flowing in-plane in a thin film of the topological insulator bismuth selenide (Bi2Se3) at room temperature can indeed exert a strong spin-transfer torque on an adjacent ferromagnetic permalloy (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 Bi 2Se3 is greater than for any source of spin-transfer torque measured so far, even for non-ideal topological insulator films in which the surface states coexist with bulk conduction. Our data suggest that topological insulators could enable very efficient electrical manipulation of magnetic materials at room temperature, for memory and logic applications. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.
  • Spin-orbitronics: A new moment for Berry

    Manchon, Aurelien (Nature Publishing Group, 2014-04-13)
    The standard description of spin-orbit torques neglects geometric phase effects. But recent experiments suggest that the Berry curvature gives rise to an anti-damping torque in systems with broken inversion symmetry.
  • Magnetism in Sc-doped ZnO with zinc vacancies: A hybrid density functional and GGA + U approaches

    Kanoun, Mohammed; Goumri-Said, Souraya; Schwingenschlögl, Udo; Manchon, Aurelien (Elsevier BV, 2012-04)
    We investigate the zinc vacancy effects on the electronic structures and magnetic properties of Sc-doped ZnO, by performing first-principles calculations within both GGA + U and Heyd-Scuseria-Ernzerhof hybrid functional methods. We find that Sc impurities stabilize considerably Zn vacancies. The electronic and magnetic analysis shows a half metallic ferromagnetic character with a total magnetic moment of 2.01 μ B. The magnetism mainly stems from the O 2p states around the Zn vacancies. Calculations with the hybrid density functional agree with the GGA + U results but give an accurate description of the electronic structure for pure ZnO and Sc-doped ZnO with Zn vacancies. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
  • Spin relaxation in InGaN quantum disks in GaN nanowires

    Banerjee, Animesh; Dog,; Heo, Junseok; Manchon, Aurelien; Guo, Wei; Bhattacharya, Pallab K. (American Chemical Society (ACS), 2011-12-14)
    The spin relaxation time of photoinduced conduction electrons has been measured in InGaN quantum disks in GaN nanowires as a function of temperature and In composition in the disks. The relaxation times are of the order of ∼100 ps at 300 K and are weakly dependent on temperature. Theoretical considerations show that the Elliott-Yafet scattering mechanism is essentially absent in these materials and the results are interpreted in terms of the D'yakonov-Perel' relaxation mechanism in the presence of Rashba spin-orbit coupling of the wurtzite structure. The calculated spin relaxation times are in good agreement with the measured values. © 2011 American Chemical Society.
  • Voltage-driven versus current-driven spin torque in anisotropic tunneling junctions

    Manchon, Aurelien (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), 2011-10)
    Nonequilibrium spin transport in a magnetic tunnel junction comprising a single magnetic layer in the presence of interfacial spin-orbit interaction (SOI) is studied theoretically. The interfacial SOI generates a spin torque of the form T=T∥ M×(z× M)+T⊥ z× M, even in the absence of an external spin polarizer. For thick and large tunnel barriers, the torque reduces to the perpendicular component T⊥, which can be electrically tuned by applying a voltage across the insulator. In the limit of thin and low tunnel barriers, the in-plane torque T∥ emerges, proportional to the tunneling current density. Experimental implications on magnetic devices are discussed. © 2011 IEEE.
  • Role of the chemical bonding for the time-dependent electron transport through an interacting quantum dot

    Goker, Ali; Zhu, Zhiyong; Manchon, Aurelien; Schwingenschlögl, Udo (Elsevier BV, 2011-06)
    A combination of ab initio and many-body calculations is utilized to determine the effects of the bonding in Au electrodes on the time dependent current through a quantum dot suddenly shifted into the Kondo regime by a gate voltage. For an asymmetrically coupled system the instantaneous conductance exhibits fluctuations. The frequencies of the fluctuations turn out to be proportional to the energetic separation between the dominating peaks in the density of states and the Fermi level. The chemical bonding in the electrodes, thus, drastically alters the transient current, which can be accessed by ultrafast pump-probe techniques. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.