Current induced torques and interfacial spin-orbit coupling: Semiclassical modeling

Paul M. Haney, Hyun Woo Lee, Kyoung Jin Lee, Aurélien Manchon, M. D. Stiles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

398 Citations (Scopus)


In bilayer nanowires consisting of a ferromagnetic layer and a nonmagnetic layer with strong spin-orbit coupling, currents create torques on the magnetization beyond those found in simple ferromagnetic nanowires. The resulting magnetic dynamics appear to require torques that can be separated into two terms, dampinglike and fieldlike. The dampinglike torque is typically derived from models describing the bulk spin Hall effect and the spin transfer torque, and the fieldlike torque is typically derived from a Rashba model describing interfacial spin-orbit coupling. We derive a model based on the Boltzmann equation that unifies these approaches. We also consider an approximation to the Boltzmann equation, the drift-diffusion model, that qualitatively reproduces the behavior, but quantitatively differs in some regimes. We show that the Boltzmann equation with physically reasonable parameters can match the torques for any particular sample, but in some cases, it fails to describe the experimentally observed thickness dependencies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number174411
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 2013 May 7

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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