Nonlinear spin current generation in noncentrosymmetric spin-orbit coupled systems
AbstractSpin current plays a central role in spintronics. In particular, finding more efficient ways to generate spin current has been an important issue and has been studied actively. For example, representative methods of spin-current generation include spin-polarized current injections from ferromagnetic metals, the spin Hall effect, and the spin battery. Here, we theoretically propose a mechanism of spin-current generation based on nonlinear phenomena. By using Boltzmann transport theory, we show that a simple application of the electric field E induces spin current proportional to E2 in noncentrosymmetric spin-orbit coupled systems. We demonstrate that the nonlinear spin current of the proposed mechanism is supported in the surface state of three-dimensional topological insulators and two-dimensional semiconductors with the Rashba and/or Dresselhaus interaction. In the latter case, the angular dependence of the nonlinear spin current can be manipulated by the direction of the electric field and by the ratio of the Rashba and Dresselhaus interactions. We find that the magnitude of the spin current largely exceeds those in the previous methods for a reasonable magnitude of the electric field. Furthermore, we show that application of ac electric fields (e.g., terahertz light) leads to the rectifying effect of the spin current, where dc spin current is generated. These findings will pave a route to manipulate the spin current in noncentrosymmetric crystals.