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Proceedings Paper

Electrical detection of spin-momentum locking in Bi2Se3 (Conference Presentation)
Author(s): Berend T. Jonker; Connie H. Li; Olaf M. van 't Erve; Y. Liu; Y. Y. Li; Lian Li

Paper Abstract

Topological insulators (TIs) exhibit topologically protected metallic surface states populated by massless Dirac fermions with spin-momentum locking – the carrier spin lies in-plane, locked at right angle to the carrier momentum. An unpolarized charge current should thus create a net spin polarization. Here we show direct electrical detection of this bias current induced spin polarization as a voltage measured on a ferromagnetic (FM) metal tunnel barrier surface contact [1]. The voltage measured at this contact is proportional to the projection of the TI spin polarization onto this axis, and similar data are obtained for two different FM contact structures, Fe/Al2O3 and Co/MgO/graphene. From measurements of the carrier type and sign of the spin voltage for n-Bi2Se3 and p-Sb2Te3, we show that transport measurements can be used to determine the chirality of the spin texture [2]. The chirality inverts as one crosses the Dirac point, so that the carrier spin-momentum locking follows a left-hand rule (clockwise chirality) when the Fermi level is above the Dirac point, and right-hand rule below (counter-clockwise chirality). These results demonstrate simple and direct electrical access to the TI Dirac surface state spin system, provide clear evidence for the spin-momentum locking and bias current-induced spin polarization, and enable utilization of these remarkable properties for future technological applications. [1] C. H. Li, O. M. J. van ‘t Erve, J. T. Robinson, Y. Liu, L. Li , and B. T. Jonker, Nature Nanotech. 9, 218 (2014). [2] C. H. Li, O. M. J. van ‘t Erve, Y. Y. Li, L. Li and B. T. Jonker, under review.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 November 2016
PDF: 1 pages
Proc. SPIE 9931, Spintronics IX, 99313G (4 November 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2238807
Show Author Affiliations
Berend T. Jonker, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Connie H. Li, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Olaf M. van 't Erve, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Y. Liu, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison (United States)
Y. Y. Li, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison (United States)
Lian Li, Univ. of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9931:
Spintronics IX
Henri-Jean Drouhin; Jean-Eric Wegrowe; Manijeh Razeghi, Editor(s)

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