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First-principle approach to the study of spin relaxation times of excited electrons in metals

AuthorsZhukov, Vladlen P.; Chulkov, Eugene V. ; Echenique, Pedro M.
Keywords[PACS] Relaxation times and mean free paths
[PACS] Spin polarized transport in metals
[PACS] Spin relaxation and scattering
Issue Date2-May-2008
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
CitationPhysica Status Solidi A: Aplications and Materials 205(6): 1296-1301 (2008)
AbstractWe have developed a first-principle method of calculating the spin-lattice relaxation time of excited electrons in metals based on the GW approach incorporating spin-orbit coupling. We have studied the spin-lattice relaxation time and path in Al, Cu, Au, Nb and Ta. The spin-lattice relaxation time and path in Nb appear to be much less than in Al, Cu, Au. They are particularly small in Ta, in accord with strong spin-orbit coupling.
Comparing our results with experimental data on the impurity- and phonon-induced spin relaxation times and path's, we find that at the energy about of 0.9 eV, which is typical for excited electrons in spin-valve and magnetic-tunnel transistors, the inelastic scattering accompanied by creation of electron-hole pairs is the dominating mechanism of spin-lattice relaxation.
Description6 pages, 4 figures.-- PACS nrs.: 72.15.Lh, 72.25.Ba, 72.25.Rb.-- Presented as poster communication to TNT 2007: Trends in NanoTechnology (San Sebastián, Spain, Sep 3-7, 2008).
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pssa.200778141
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