Generation and detection of dissipationless spin current in MgO/Si bilayer

Research paper by Paul C Lou, Sandeep Kumar

Indexed on: 23 Feb '18Published on: 23 Feb '18Published in: arXiv - Physics - Mesoscopic Systems and Quantum Hall Effect


Spintronics is an analogue to electronics where spin of the electron rather than its charge is functionally controlled for devices. The generation and detection of spin current without ferromagnetic or exotic/scarce materials are two the biggest challenges for spintronics devices. In this study, we report a solution to the two problems of spin current generation and detection in Si. Using non-local measurement, we experimentally demonstrate the generation of helical dissipationless spin current using spin-Hall effect. Contrary to the theoretical prediction, we observe the spin-Hall effect in both n-doped and p-doped Si. The helical spin current is attributed to the site-inversion asymmetry of the diamond cubic lattice of Si and structure inversion asymmetry in MgO/Si bilayer. The spin to charge conversion in Si is insignificant due to weak spin-orbit coupling. For the efficient detection of spin current, we report spin to charge conversion at the MgO (1nm)/Si (2 um) (p-doped and n-doped) thin film interface due to Rashba spin-orbit coupling. We detected the spin current at a distance of >100 um, which is an order of magnitude larger than the longest spin diffusion length measured using spin injection techniques. The existence of spin current in Si is verified from coercivity reduction in Co/Pd multilayer due to spin-orbit torque generated by spin current from Si.