Semiclassical theory of spin-orbit torques in disordered multiband electron systems
AbstractWe study spin-orbit torques (SOT) in nondegenerate multiband electron systems in the weak-disorder limit. In order to have better physical transparency, a semiclassical Boltzmann approach equivalent to the Kubo diagrammatic approach in the noncrossing approximation is formulated. This semiclassical framework accounts for the interband-coherence effects induced by both the electric field and static impurity scattering. Using the two-dimensional Rashba ferromagnet as a model system, we show that the antidamping-like SOT arising from disorder-induced interband-coherence effects is very sensitive to the structure of disorder potential in the internal space and may have the same sign as the intrinsic SOT in the presence of spin-dependent disorder. While the cancellation of this SOT and the intrinsic one occurs only in the case of spin-independent short-range disorder.