Origin of spin-orbit splitting for monolayers of au and ag on w(110) and mo(110)

Phys Rev Lett. 2008 Feb 8;100(5):057601. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.100.057601. Epub 2008 Feb 4.


Spin-orbit coupling can give rise to spin-split electronic states without a ferromagnet or an external magnetic field. We create large spin-orbit splittings in a Au and Ag monolayer on W(110) and show that the size of the splitting does not depend on the atomic number of the Au or Ag overlayer but of the W substrate. Spin- and angle-resolved photoemission and Fermi-surface scans reveal that the overlayer states acquire spin polarization through spin-dependent overlayer-substrate hybridization.