Volume 79, Number 6, September 2007
|Number of page(s)||5|
|Section||Condensed Matter: Electronic Structure, Electrical, Magnetic and Optical Properties|
|Published online||23 August 2007|
Quantum mechanics of spin transfer in coupled electron-spin chains
Department of Physics, University of Alberta - Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T6G 2J1
2 Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of British Columbia - Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6T 1Z1
Accepted: 31 July 2007
The manner in which spin-polarized electrons interact with a magnetized thin film is currently described by a semi-classical approach. This in turn provides our present understanding of the spin transfer, or spin torque phenomenon. However, spin is an intrinsically quantum-mechanical quantity. Here, we make the first strides towards a fully quantum-mechanical description of spin transfer through spin currents interacting with a Heisenberg-coupled spin chain. Because of quantum entanglement, this requires a formalism based on the density matrix approach. Our description illustrates how individual spins in the chain time-evolve as a result of spin transfer.
PACS: 72.25.-b – Spin polarized transport / 73.23.Ad – Ballistic transport / 73.63.-b – Electronic transport in nanoscale materials and structures
© Europhysics Letters Association, 2007
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