Controlling the Helicity of Light by Electrical Magnetization Switching

Pambiang Dainone, Nicholas Prestes, Pierre Renucci, Alexandre Bouche, Martina Morassi, Xavier Devaux, Markus Lindemann, Jean-Marie George, Henri Jaffres, Aristide Lemaitre, Bo Xu, Mathieu Stoffel, Tongxin Chen, Laurent Lombez, Delphine Lagarde, Guangwei Cong, Tianyi Ma, Philippe Pigeat, Michel Vergnat, Herve RinnertXavier Marie, Xiufeng Han, Stephane Mangin, Juan-Carlos Rojas-Sanchez, Jian-Ping Wang, Matthew Beard, Nils Gerhardt, Igor Zutic, Yuan Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus Citations


Controlling the intensity of emitted light and charge current is the basis of transferring and processing information. By contrast, robust information storage and magnetic random-access memories are implemented using the spin of the carrier and the associated magnetization in ferromagnets. The missing link between the respective disciplines of photonics, electronics and spintronics is to modulate the circular polarization of the emitted light, rather than its intensity, by electrically controlled magnetization. Here we demonstrate that this missing link is established at room temperature and zero applied magnetic field in light-emitting diodes through the transfer of angular momentum between photons, electrons and ferromagnets. With spin-orbit torque a charge current generates also a spin current to electrically switch the magnetization. This switching determines the spin orientation of injected carriers into semiconductors, in which the transfer of angular momentum from the electron spin to photon controls the circular polarization of the emitted light. The spin-photon conversion with the nonvolatile control of magnetization opens paths to seamlessly integrate information transfer, processing and storage. Our results provide substantial advances towards electrically controlled ultrafast modulation of circular polarization and spin injection with magnetization dynamics for the next-generation information and communication technology, including space-light data transfer. The same operating principle in scaled-down structures or using two-dimensional materials will enable transformative opportunities for quantum information processing with spin-controlled single-photon sources, as well as for implementing spin-dependent time-resolved spectroscopies.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)783-788
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2024

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5F00-89625


  • electrically controlled magnetization
  • space-light data transfer
  • spin-orbit torque


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