Controlled enhancement of spin-current emission by three-magnon splitting

Nat Mater. 2011 Jul 3;10(9):660-4. doi: 10.1038/nmat3053.


Spin currents--the flow of angular momentum without the simultaneous transfer of electrical charge--play an enabling role in the field of spintronics. Unlike the charge current, the spin current is not a conservative quantity within the conduction carrier system. This is due to the presence of the spin-orbit interaction that couples the spin of the carriers to angular momentum in the lattice. This spin-lattice coupling acts also as the source of damping in magnetic materials, where the precessing magnetic moment experiences a torque towards its equilibrium orientation; the excess angular momentum in the magnetic subsystem flows into the lattice. Here we show that this flow can be reversed by the three-magnon splitting process and experimentally achieve the enhancement of the spin current emitted by the interacting spin waves. This mechanism triggers angular momentum transfer from the lattice to the magnetic subsystem and modifies the spin-current emission. The finding illustrates the importance of magnon-magnon interactions for developing spin-current based electronics.

Publication types

  • Letter