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Spin Conversion Phenomena in Spintronics: JPSJ Special Topics
Yoshichika Otani
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Spin Conversion Phenomena in Spintronics:
JPSJ Special Topics


Fig. 1: Conceptual illustration of spin conversion science.

Since the discovery of giant magnetoresistance, spintronics research has been evolving and has reached a new phase in which the concept of spin currents, i.e., the flow of spin angular momenta, helps us understand various spintronics phenomena. These include all the recently discovered conversion phenomena, such as the direct and inverse spin Hall effects, spin Seebeck and Peltier effects, spin pumping, and the inverse Faraday effect. More recently, Rashba interfaces and the surface states of topological insulators were found to exhibit the so-called Edelstein effect, in which the spin-momentum locking behavior brings about non-equilibrium spin accumulation.

These interface and surface effects thus provide an effective means for interconversion among spin, charge, and heat currents. Most of the above-mentioned spin conversion phenomena take place at simple nanoscale interfaces between two different types of materials (e.g., magnets, non-magnets, semiconductors, and insulators). These structures may enable us to advance spin-mediated interconversion among physical entities such as electricity, light, sound, vibration, and heat.

Based on the above proposed ideas, MEXT (the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in Japan) launched a new five-year project called "Nano Spin Conversion Science" in FY 2014. With this project in mind, the Journal of the Physical Society of Japan (JPSJ) featured special topics on the "Spin Conversion Phenomena in Spintronics" in Vol. 86, No. 1, January, 2017. This special issue introduces various spin conversion phenomena ranging from spin-charge and spin-photon interconversion to novel mechanical spin current generation as well as the relevant physics on spin conversion. We hope these topical articles will inspire you to learn more about nano spin conversion science.


• Spin to Charge Interconversion Phenomena in the Interface and Surface States
  Yuichiro Ando, and Masashi Shiraishi 011001, 10.7566/JPSJ.86.011001
• Measurement of Spin Pumping Voltage Separated from Extrinsic Microwave Effects
  Ryo Iguchi, and Eiji Saitoh 011003, 10.7566/JPSJ.86.011003
• Effect of Magnetic Fluctuations on Spin Current
  Yasuhiro Niimi, Dahai Wei, and YoshiChika Otani 011004, 10.7566/JPSJ.86.011004
• Skew Scattering from Correlated Systems: Impurities and Collective Excitations in the Spin Hall Effect
  Timothy Ziman, Bo Gu, and Sadamichi Maekawa 011005, 10.7566/JPSJ.86.011005
• Towards a Better Understanding of the Anomalous Hall Effect
  Di Yue, and Xiaofeng Jin 011006, 10.7566/JPSJ.86.011006
• Spin Chirality and Hall-Like Transport Phenomena of Spin Excitations
  Jung Hoon Han, and Hyunyong Lee 011007, 10.7566/JPSJ.86.011007
• Conversion from Single Photon to Single Electron Spin Using Electrically Controllable Quantum Dots
  Akira Oiwa, Takafumi Fujita, Haruki Kiyama, Giles Allison, Arne Ludwig, Andreas D. Wieck,
  and Seigo Tarucha 011008, 10.7566/JPSJ.86.011008
• THz Emission Spectroscopy for THz Spintronics
  Thomas Jarik Huisman, and Theo Rasing 011009, 10.7566/JPSJ.86.011009
• Thermal Hall Effect of Magnons
  Shuichi Murakami, and Akihiro Okamoto 011010, 10.7566/JPSJ.86.011010
• Spin-Mechatronics
  Mamoru Matsuo, Eiji Saitoh, and Sadamichi Maekawa 011011, 10.7566/JPSJ.86.011011


YoshiChika Otani is a professor at the Institute for Solid State Physics (ISSP), the University of Tokyo. He received his PhD (1989) from Keio University. He was a research fellow (1989-1991) at the Physics Department of Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin, and a researcher (1991-1992) at the Laboratoire Louis Néel, CNRS, France. He was a research instructor (1992-1995) at the Department of Physics, Keio University; an associate professor at the Department of Materials Science, Graduate School of Engineering, Tohoku University (1995-2002); and became a team leader (since 2001) of the Quantum Nano-Scale Magnetics Research Team at FRS-RIKEN. In 2004 he became a professor at ISSP, the University of Tokyo. Since 2013, he has also worked as a team leader of the Quantum Nano-Scale Magnetism Research Team at CEMS-RIKEN. He has been working primarily on experimental studies on spintronics, such as spin-to-charge currents interconversion phenomena based on spin orbit interaction and spin injection, including spin Hall effects, Rashba-Edelstein effects, pure spin current induced magnetization dynamics, and electric field controlled magnetic anisotropy in ultra-thin ferromagnetic films.