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Nature. 2016 Nov 24;539(7630):509-517. doi: 10.1038/nature19820.

Emergent phenomena induced by spin-orbit coupling at surfaces and interfaces.

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Division of Physics and Applied Physics, School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, 637371 Singapore.
Data Storage Institute, A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology and Research), 2 Fusionopolis Way #08-01, 138634 Singapore.
Unité Mixte de Physique, CNRS, Thales, Université Paris-Sud, Université Paris-Saclay, Palaiseau 91767, France.


Spin-orbit coupling (SOC) describes the relativistic interaction between the spin and momentum degrees of freedom of electrons, and is central to the rich phenomena observed in condensed matter systems. In recent years, new phases of matter have emerged from the interplay between SOC and low dimensionality, such as chiral spin textures and spin-polarized surface and interface states. These low-dimensional SOC-based realizations are typically robust and can be exploited at room temperature. Here we discuss SOC as a means of producing such fundamentally new physical phenomena in thin films and heterostructures. We put into context the technological promise of these material classes for developing spin-based device applications at room temperature.


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