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Research Highlight | Argonne National Laboratory

THz-radiation generated from interfacial spin-orbit coupling

In a recent study published by Physical Review Letters, researchers in Argonne’s Materials Science division and at the Center for Nanoscale Materials, a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science User Facility, demonstrate that interfacial spin-orbit coupling and ultrafast spin-charge current transfer can generate THz radiation.

Scientific achievement

Demonstration that interfacial spin-orbit coupling and ultrafast spin-charge current transfer can generate THz radiation.

Significance and impact

Interfacial spin-orbit coupling may lead to spintronics devices and new methods to study ultrafast spin-coupled ultrafast processes at interfaces.

Research details

  • Ultrafast spin currents generated via optical excitation get converted into charge current pulses via interfacial spin-orbit coupling on ps time scales
  • The observation is consistent with expectations from Rashba spin-orbit coupling
  • Circular polarization of the incoming light results in a helicity-dependent rotation of the THz field


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