Large spin-Hall effect in Si at room temperature

Research paper by Paul C. Lou, Anand Katailiha, Ravindra G. Bhardwaj, Tonmoy Bhowmick, W. P. Beyermann, Roger K. Lake, Sandeep Kumar

Indexed on: 03 Apr '20Published on: 01 Apr '20Published in: arXiv - Physics - Mesoscopic Systems and Quantum Hall Effect


Silicon's weak intrinsic spin-orbit coupling and centrosymmetric crystal structure are a critical bottleneck to the development of Si spintronics, because they lead to an insignificant spin-Hall effect (spin current generation) and inverse spin-Hall effect (spin current detection). Here, we undertake current, magnetic field, crystallography dependent magnetoresistance and magneto thermal transport measurements to study the spin transport behavior in freestanding Si thin films. We observe a large spin-Hall magnetoresistance in both p-Si and n-Si at room temperature and it is an order of magnitude larger than that of Pt. One explanation of the unexpectedly large and efficient spin-Hall effect is spin-phonon coupling instead of spin-orbit coupling. The macroscopic origin of the spin-phonon coupling can be large strain gradients that can exist in the freestanding Si films. This discovery in a light, earth abundant and centrosymmetric material opens a new path of strain engineering to achieve spin dependent properties in technologically highly-developed materials.