Researchers from the RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science, together with their colleagues, have shown the conversion of a spin current into a rotating charge current vortex using numerical simulations.
This new approach can contribute to the emergence of energy efficient spintronic devices, as it helps to convert between electrical current vortices and a spin current and vice versa. The team came up with the idea of exploiting the Rashba effect – an unusual phenomenon that was discovered in 1959. It occurs on some surfaces or interfaces between two materials where the atomic structure is no longer symmetrical. The Rashba effect causes the spin and the orbital motion of an electron to interact.