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Magneto-Optical Detection of the Spin Hall Effect in Pt and W Thin Films

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Stamm C., Murer C., Berritta M., Feng J., Gabureac M., Oppeneer P. M., Gambardella P.,
Project Spin-orbitronics in ferromagnets and antiferromagnets
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Physical Review Letters
Volume (Issue) 119(8)
Page(s) 087203 - 087203
ISBN 0031-9007
Title of proceedings Physical Review Letters
DOI 10.1103/physrevlett.119.087203

Open Access

Type of Open Access Repository (Green Open Access)


The conversion of charge currents into spin currents in nonmagnetic conductors is a hallmark manifestation of spin-orbit coupling that has important implications for spintronic devices. Here we report the measurement of the interfacial spin accumulation induced by the spin Hall effect in Pt and W thin films using magneto-optical Kerr microscopy. We show that the Kerr rotation has opposite sign in Pt and W and scales linearly with current density. By comparing the experimental results with ab initio calculations of the spin Hall and magneto-optical Kerr effects, we quantitatively determine the current-induced spin accumulation at the Pt interface as 5 x 10(-12) mu(B) A(-1) cm(2) per atom. From thickness-dependent measurements, we determine the spin diffusion length in a single Pt film to be 11 +/- 3 nm, which is significantly larger compared to that of Pt adjacent to a magnetic layer.