Spin relaxation through Kondo scattering in Cu/Py lateral spin valves

J. T. Batley, M. C. Rosamond, M. Ali, E. H. Linfield, G. Burnell, B. J. Hickey

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14 Scopus citations


The temperature dependence of the spin diffusion length typically reflects the scattering mechanism responsible for spin relaxation. Within nonmagnetic metals it is reasonable to expect the Elliot-Yafet mechanism to play a role and thus the temperature dependence of the spin diffusion length might be inversely proportional to resistivity. In lateral spin valves, measurements have found that at low temperatures the spin diffusion length unexpectedly decreases. By measuring the transport properties of lateral Py/Cu/Py spin valves, fabricated from Cu with magnetic impurities of <1 ppm and ∼4 ppm, we extract a spin diffusion length which shows this suppression below 30 K only in the presence of the Kondo effect. We have calculated the spin-relaxation rate and isolated the contribution from magnetic impurities. We find the spin-flip probability of a magnetic impurity to be 34%. Our analysis demonstrates the dominant role of Kondo scattering in spin relaxation, even in low concentrations of order 1 ppm, and hence illustrates its importance to the reduction in spin diffusion length observed by ourselves and others.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number220420
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number22
StatePublished - Dec 28 2015

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© 2015 American Physical Society.

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