skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Electrical Detection of Charge-to-spin and Spin-to-Charge Conversion in a Topological Insulator Bi 2Te 3 Using BN/Al 2O 3 Hybrid Tunnel Barrier

Abstract

One of the most striking properties of three-dimensional topological insulators (TIs) is spin-momentum locking, where the spin is locked at right angles to momentum and hence an unpolarized charge current creates a net spin polarization. Alternatively, if a net spin is injected into the TI surface state system, it is distinctively associated with a unique carrier momentum and hence should generate a charge accumulation, as in the so-called inverse Edelstein effect. Here using a Fe/Al 2O 3/BN tunnel barrier, we demonstrate both effects in a single device in Bi 2Te 3: the electrical detection of the spin accumulation generated by an unpolarized current flowing through the surface states, and that of the charge accumulation generated by spins injected into the surface state system. This work is the first to utilize BN as part of a hybrid tunnel barrier on TI, where we observed a high spin polarization of 93% for the TI surfaces states. The reverse spin-to-charge measurement is an independent confirmation that spin and momentum are locked in the surface states of TI, and offers additional avenues for spin manipulation. It further demonstrates the robustness and versatility of electrical access to the spin system within TI surface states, anmore » important step towards its utilization in TI-based spintronics devices.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2];  [2];  [1]
  1. Naval Research Lab. (NRL), Washington, DC (United States). Materials Science and Technology Division
  2. West Virginia Univ., Morgantown, WV (United States). Dept. of Physics and Astronomy
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
West Virginia Univ., Morgantown, WV (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
OSTI Identifier:
1499984
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0017632
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 8; Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; spintronics; topological matter

Citation Formats

Li, C. H., van ‘t Erve, O. M. J., Yan, C., Li, L., and Jonker, B. T. Electrical Detection of Charge-to-spin and Spin-to-Charge Conversion in a Topological Insulator Bi2Te3 Using BN/Al2O3 Hybrid Tunnel Barrier. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-28547-y.
Li, C. H., van ‘t Erve, O. M. J., Yan, C., Li, L., & Jonker, B. T. Electrical Detection of Charge-to-spin and Spin-to-Charge Conversion in a Topological Insulator Bi2Te3 Using BN/Al2O3 Hybrid Tunnel Barrier. United States. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-28547-y.
Li, C. H., van ‘t Erve, O. M. J., Yan, C., Li, L., and Jonker, B. T. Fri . "Electrical Detection of Charge-to-spin and Spin-to-Charge Conversion in a Topological Insulator Bi2Te3 Using BN/Al2O3 Hybrid Tunnel Barrier". United States. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-28547-y. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1499984.
@article{osti_1499984,
title = {Electrical Detection of Charge-to-spin and Spin-to-Charge Conversion in a Topological Insulator Bi2Te3 Using BN/Al2O3 Hybrid Tunnel Barrier},
author = {Li, C. H. and van ‘t Erve, O. M. J. and Yan, C. and Li, L. and Jonker, B. T.},
abstractNote = {One of the most striking properties of three-dimensional topological insulators (TIs) is spin-momentum locking, where the spin is locked at right angles to momentum and hence an unpolarized charge current creates a net spin polarization. Alternatively, if a net spin is injected into the TI surface state system, it is distinctively associated with a unique carrier momentum and hence should generate a charge accumulation, as in the so-called inverse Edelstein effect. Here using a Fe/Al2O3/BN tunnel barrier, we demonstrate both effects in a single device in Bi2Te3: the electrical detection of the spin accumulation generated by an unpolarized current flowing through the surface states, and that of the charge accumulation generated by spins injected into the surface state system. This work is the first to utilize BN as part of a hybrid tunnel barrier on TI, where we observed a high spin polarization of 93% for the TI surfaces states. The reverse spin-to-charge measurement is an independent confirmation that spin and momentum are locked in the surface states of TI, and offers additional avenues for spin manipulation. It further demonstrates the robustness and versatility of electrical access to the spin system within TI surface states, an important step towards its utilization in TI-based spintronics devices.},
doi = {10.1038/s41598-018-28547-y},
journal = {Scientific Reports},
issn = {2045-2322},
number = ,
volume = 8,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {7}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Save / Share:

Works referenced in this record:

Colloquium: Topological insulators
journal, November 2010


Control over topological insulator photocurrents with light polarization
journal, December 2011

  • McIver, J. W.; Hsieh, D.; Steinberg, H.
  • Nature Nanotechnology, Vol. 7, Issue 2, p. 96-100
  • DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2011.214

Topological insulators in Bi2Se3, Bi2Te3 and Sb2Te3 with a single Dirac cone on the surface
journal, May 2009

  • Zhang, Haijun; Liu, Chao-Xing; Qi, Xiao-Liang
  • Nature Physics, Vol. 5, Issue 6, p. 438-442
  • DOI: 10.1038/nphys1270

Topological Insulators in Three Dimensions
journal, March 2007


A topological Dirac insulator in a quantum spin Hall phase
journal, April 2008

  • Hsieh, D.; Qian, D.; Wray, L.
  • Nature, Vol. 452, Issue 7190, p. 970-974
  • DOI: 10.1038/nature06843