Investigation of the spin Hall effect in gold has triggered increasing interest over the past decade, since gold combines the properties of a large bulk spin-diffusion length and strong interfacial spin-orbit coupling. However, discrepancies between the values of the spin Hall angle of gold reported in the literature have brought into question the microscopic origin of the spin Hall effect in Au. Here, we investigate the thickness dependence of the effective spin-charge conversion efficiency in single Au films and ultrathin Au/Si multilayers by nonlocal transport and spin-torque ferromagnetic resonance measurements. We show that the inferred effective spin-charge conversion efficiency is strongly enhanced in ultrathin Au/Si multilayers, reaching exceedingly large values of 0.99 ± 0.34 when the thickness of the individual Au layers is scaled down to 2 nm. These findings reveal the coexistence of a strong interfacial spin-to-charge conversion effect, which becomes dominant in ultrathin Au, and bulk spin Hall effect with a relatively low bulk spin Hall angle of 0.012 ± 0.005. Our experimental results suggest the key role of the intrinsic spin Hall effect enhancement along with a strong interfacial spin-orbit coupling-related effect in the large spin-to-charge conversion in ultrathin Au.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)