KAUST DepartmentPhysical Sciences and Engineering (PSE) Division
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AbstractThe spin Hall and its inverse effects, driven by the spin orbit interaction, provide an interconversion mechanism between spin and charge currents. Since the spin Hall effect generates and manipulates spin current electrically, to achieve a large effect is becoming an important topic in both academia and industries. So far, materials with heavy elements carrying a strong spin orbit interaction, provide the only option. We propose here a new mechanism, using the surface roughness in ultrathin films, to enhance the spin Hall effect without heavy elements. Our analysis based on Cu and Al thin films suggests that surface roughness is capable of driving a spin Hall angle that is comparable to that in bulk Au. We also demonstrate that the spin Hall effect induced by surface roughness subscribes only to the side-jump contribution but not the skew scattering. The paradigm proposed in this paper provides the second, not if only, alternative to generate a sizable spin Hall effect.
CitationSpin Hall effect by surface roughness 2015, 91 (4) Physical Review B
PublisherAmerican Physical Society (APS)
JournalPhysical Review B