How many electrons are needed to flip a local spin?W. Kim, R. K. Teshima and F. Marsiglio
Theoretical Physics Institute and Department of Physics, University of Alberta Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T6G 2J1
received 9 November 2004; accepted 16 December 2004
published online 21 January 2005
Considering the spin of a local magnetic atom as a quantum-mechanical operator, we illustrate the dynamics of a local spin interacting with a ballistic electron represented by a wave packet. This approach improves the semi-classical approximation and provides a complete quantum-mechanical understanding for spin transfer phenomena. Sending spin-polarized electrons towards a local magnetic atom one after another, we estimate the minimum number of electrons needed to flip a local spin.
72.25.-b - Spin polarized transport.
73.23.Ad - Ballistic transport.
73.63.-b - Electronic transport in nanoscale materials and structures.
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