Early Stage Researcher 12, NGU, SPAIN


Project title and work package:

Spin-to-charge conversion and spin manipulation in strong spin-orbit coupling systems, work package Spintronics controlled by spin-orbit interaction.



An ultimate goal of spintronics is to be able to create and manipulate spin currents without the need of any ferromagnetic materials and in this context the spin Hall Effect (SHE), which transforms an electrical current into a spin current, has been the main mechanism to be studied. Novel spin-orbit coupling related effects, which are potentially more efficient than the SHE, have been recently discovered. The objective of your project is to explore, understand, and improve some of these effects using the spin absorption technique.

You will study interfacial systems with surface states where the Rashba spin splitting is large. In these systems, the Rashba-Edelstein effect (REE) is expected to be larger than the bulk counterpart, the SHE. Interfaces with large REE, either metal/metal and metal/insulator bilayers, namely Ta/Cu, Ta/Ag, Cu/Bi2O3 and Ag/Bi2O3, will be explored. In a second stage of the project, you will move on to 3D topological insulators. These materials conduct only at the surface and present an extremely strong spin-orbit coupling causing a spin-momentum locking. Accordingly, we will explore prototypical TI materials such as Bi2Se3, Bi2Te3 and their alloys with Sb, which should provide a novel exciting way of playing with the spin-charge inter-conversion. This will be developed in close connection to the work developed by Early Stage Researcher 9 (LEEDS, United Kingdom) in the 2D analogue systems.


Expected Results:

- Observation of Rashba-Edelstein effect in metal/metal interfaces.

- Observation of Rashba-Edelstein effect in metal/insulator interfaces.

- Determination of the degree of spin-charge inter-conversion at (Bi,Sb)2(Se,Te)3 surfaces.


Planned secondments:

at RAITH, Germany (2 months, Year 1) for training in extreme electron beam lithography techniques with high voltage columns. Testing of high-resolution electron sensitive polymers. At LEEDS, United Kingdom (1 month, Year 1) on the growth of high-quality metallic alloys by co-sputtering, at CTH, Sweden (1 month, Year 2) on low temperature cryogenics & electronic measurements.