Boundary conditions for spin and charge diffusion in the presence of interfacial spin-orbit coupling

Physical Review B 99, 241401 (2019)

Boundary conditions for spin and charge diffusion in the presence of interfacial spin-orbit coupling

J. Borge, I. V. Tokatly

Breaking of the inversion symmetry at the interface between different materials may dramatically enhance spin-orbit interaction in the vicinity of the interface. We incorporate the effects of this interfacial spin-orbit coupling (ISOC) into the standard drift-diffusion theory by deriving generalized boundary conditions for diffusion equations. Our theoretical scheme is based on symmetry arguments, providing a natural classification and parametrization of all spin-charge and spin-spin conversion effects that occur due to ISOC at macroscopically isotropic interfaces between nonmagnetic materials. We illustrate our approach with specific examples of spin-charge conversion in hybrid structures. In particular, for a lateral metal-insulator structure we predict an “ISOC-gating” effect which can be used to detect spin currents in metallic films with weak bulk SOC.

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Doi
http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevB.99.241401
arxiv
http://arxiv.org/abs/arXiv:1903.12592

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