Engineering the spin conversion in graphene monolayer epitaxial structures

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Spin Hall and Rashba-Edelstein effects, which are spin-to-charge conversion phenomena due to spin-orbit coupling (SOC), are attracting increasing interest as pathways to manage rapidly and at low consumption cost the storage and processing of a large amount of data in spintronic devices as well as more efficient energy harvesting by spin-caloritronics devices. Materials with large SOC, such as heavy metals (HMs), are traditionally employed to get large spin-to-charge conversion. More recently, the use of graphene (gr) in proximity with large SOC layers has been proposed as an efficient and tunable spin transport channel. Here, we explore the role of a graphene monolayer between Co and a HM and its interfacial spin transport properties by means of thermo-spin measurements. The gr/HM (Pt and Ta) stacks have been prepared on epitaxial Ir(111)/Co(111) structures grown on sapphire crystals, in which the spin detector (i.e., top HM) and the spin injector (i.e., Co) are all grown in situ under controlled conditions and present clean and sharp interfaces. We find that a gr monolayer retains the spin current injected into the HM from the bottom Co layer. This has been observed by detecting a net reduction in the sum of the spin Seebeck and interfacial contributions due to the presence of gr and independent from the spin Hall angle sign of the HM used.
© 2021The Author(s). Artículo firmado por más de diez autores. We thank V. P. Amin, S. Sangiao, A. Fert, and F. Casanova for valuable discussions. This research was supported by the Regional Government of Madrid through Project No. P2018/NMT-4321 (NANOMAGCOST-CM) and the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO) through Project Nos. RTI2018-097895-B-C42, RTI2018-097895-B-C43 (FUN-SOC), PGC2018-098613-B-C21 (SpOrQuMat), PGC2018-098265-B-C31, and PCI2019-111867-2 (FLAG ERA 3 grant SOgraphMEM). J.M.D.T. and A.G. acknowledge support from MINECO and CM through Grant Nos. BES-2017-080617 and PEJD-2017-PREIND-4690, respectively. I.A. acknowledges financial support from the Regional Government of Madrid through Contract No. PEJD-2019-POST/IND-15343. IMDEA Nanoscience is supported by the "Severo Ochoa" Program for Centres of Excellence in R&D, MINECO (Grant No. SEV-2016-0686). A.A., S.P.-W., and J.-C.R.-S. acknowledge support from Toptronic ANR through Project No. ANR-19-CE24-0016-01. P.J.-C., I.L., L.M., P.A.A., and M.R.I. acknowledge support from Project No. MAT2017-82970-C2-R. Electron microscopy observations were carried out at the Centro Nacional de Microscopia Electronica at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.