In a ferromagnetic heterostructure, the interplay between Rashba spin-orbit coupling and exchange splitting gives rise to a current-driven spin torque. In a realistic device setup, we investigate the Rashba spin torque in the diffusive regime and report two major findings: (i) a nonvanishing torque exists at the edges of the device even when the magnetization and effective Rashba field are aligned; (ii) anisotropic spin relaxation rates driven by the Rashba spin-orbit coupling assign the spin torque a general expression T = T y (θ) m × (y × m) + T y (θ) y × m + T z (θ) m × (z × m) + T z (θ) z × m, where the coefficients T, y, z depend on the magnetization direction. Our results agree with recent experiments. © 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)