Generalized Magnetoelectronic Circuit Theory and Spin Relaxation at Interfaces in Magnetic Multilayers

G. Flores, Alexey Kovalev, M. van Schilfgaarde, K. Belashchenko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus Citations


Spin transport at metallic interfaces is an essential ingredient of various spintronic device concepts, such as giant magnetoresistance, spin-transfer torque, and spin pumping. Spin-orbit coupling plays an important role in many such devices. In particular, spin current is partially absorbed at the interface due to spin-orbit coupling. We develop a general magnetoelectronic circuit theory and generalize the concept of spin-mixing conductance, accounting for various mechanisms responsible for spin-flip scattering. For the special case when exchange interactions dominate, we give a simple expression for the spin-mixing conductance in terms of the contributions responsible for spin relaxation (i.e., spin memory loss), spin torque, and spin precession. The spin memory loss parameter δ is related to spin-flip transmission and reflection probabilities. There is no straightforward relation between spin torque and spin memory loss. We calculate the spin-flip scattering rates for N|N, F|N, and F|F interfaces using the Landauer-Büttiker method within the linear muffin-tin orbital method and determine the values of δ using circuit theory.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages12
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number22
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 American Physical Society.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5F00-77314


  • giant magnetoresistance
  • spin current
  • spin diffusion
  • spin relaxation
  • spin torque
  • spin-orbit coupling
  • spintronics


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