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Monday, 16 November 2015

Reviews of Modern Physics highlights recent research on Spin Hall effects

ICREA Prof Sergio O. Valenzuela, Group Leader at ICN2, is among the 5 authors of a review article highlighted on the cover of the journal Reviews of Modern Physics. The article offers a pedagogical overview of the Spin Hall effect, both from a theoretical and from an experimental perspective.

The prestigious Reviews of Modern Physics has just published, and highlighted on the cover of the October issue, a review paper on Spin Hall effects. The authors of the review, all of whom have played an influential role in the development of the field, are Prof Jairo Sinova, (Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz, Germany and Academy of Science of the Czech Republic, ASCR, Czech Republic), ICREA Prof Sergio O. Valenzuela, Group Leader of the ICN2 Physics and Engineering of Nanodevices Group, Prof J. Wunderlich (ASCR,Czech Republic and Hitachi UK), Prof C. H. Back (Universität Regensburg, Germany) and Prof T. Jungwirth (ASCR, Czech Republic and University of Nottingham UK).

This spin Hall effect is a collection of relativistic spin-orbit coupling phenomena in which electrical currents generate transverse spin currents and vice versa. The review describes the rapid developments of this sub-field of spintronics, providing an overview of the current experimental understanding and of the theoretical tools that are used to describe it, including their level of success and limitations. The review also connects the spin Hall effect with important related phenomena, and describes their potential for applications, particularly in the area of magnetization dynamics.

The article starts with a short chronological description of the evolution of the spin Hall effect field and the resolution of some early controversies. The main body of the review deepens into the theoretical and experimental approaches. It is structured from a pedagogical point of view, focusing on well-established and accepted physics. At the end, the authors also outline from their personal perspective some of the remaining challenges and opportunities, underlining how the spin Hall effect research relates to other emerging fields, which include topics such as graphene and other 2D systems, topological insulators and spin-caloritronics. They argue that the future of the field is exciting and that new fundamental physics concepts and disruptive technologies are to be expected.

Review of Modern Physicsis one of the most influential publications in Physics. It regularly invites researchers to publish a summarized view about established topical areas. The number of yearly reviews is kept small (only 34 in 2014) in order to ensure the high quality and impact of the works.

Article Reference:Spin Hall effects. J. Sinova, S. O. Valenzuela, J. Wunderlich, C. H. Back, and T. Jungwirth. Rev. Mod. Phys.87, 1213 – Published 27 October 2015http://journals.aps.org/rmp/abstract/10.1103/RevModPhys.87.1213