Spin-orbit torque in a three-dimensional topological insulator–ferromagnet heterostructure: Crossover between bulk and surface transport

Sumit Ghosh, Aurelien Manchon

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36 Scopus citations

Abstract

Current-driven spin-orbit torques are investigated in a heterostructure composed of a ferromagnet deposited on top of a three-dimensional topological insulator using the linear response formalism. We develop a tight-binding model of the heterostructure adopting a minimal interfacial hybridization scheme that promotes induced magnetic exchange on the topological surface states, as well as induced Rashba-like spin-orbit coupling in the ferromagnet. Therefore our model accounts for the spin Hall effect from bulk states together with inverse spin galvanic and magnetoelectric effects at the interface on equal footing. By varying the transport energy across the band structure, we uncover a crossover from surface-dominated to bulk-dominated transport regimes. We show that the spin density profile and the nature of the spin-orbit torques differ substantially in both regimes. Our results, which compare favorably with experimental observations, demonstrate that the large dampinglike torque reported recently is more likely attributed to the Berry curvature of interfacial states, while spin Hall torque remains small even in the bulk-dominated regime.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPhysical Review B
Volume97
Issue number13
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2 2018

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