The spin Hall effect (SHE) and the inverse spin Hall effect (ISHE) are well established phenomena in current spintronics research. A third important effect is the current-induced spin polarization, which, within the Rashba model for a spin-orbit coupled two-dimensional disordered electron gas, has been predicted by Edelstein in 1990 and it is referred to as the Edelstein effect (EE). This effect is deeply connected to the above two effects thanks to a constraint dictated by the equation of motion. Less known is the inverse Edelstein effect (IEE), which is the Onsager reciprocal of the EE and according to which a charge current is generated by a non-equilibrium spin polarization. The IEE has been recently observed (Nature Commun. 4, 2944 (2013)) in a hybrid ferromagnetic-metal system. In this talk I provide a precise microscopic definition of the IEE and its description within the Rashba model. It turns out that the effect has a surprisingly simple interpretation when the spin-charge coupled drift-diffusion equations governing it are cast in the language of a SU(2) gauge theory, with the Rashba spin-orbit coupling playing the role of a generalized spin-dependent vector potential. After sketching briefly the derivation of the drift-diffusion equations, the latter are applied to the interpretation of the experiments. The role of spin-orbit coupling due to impurities is also considered, by showing that the strenght of the IEE can be controlled by the ratio of the spin relaxation rates associated to the two type of spin-orbit coupling.
Roberto Raimondi, Ka Shen, and Giovanni Vignale, "Microscopic theory of the inverse Edelstein effect (Presentation Recording)," Proc. SPIE 9551, Spintronics VIII, 95510O (Presented at SPIE Nanoscience + Engineering: August 09, 2015; Published: 5 October 2015); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2185847.4519370528001.
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