Current-induced spin polarization (CISP) on the outermost surfaces of Au, Cu, Pt, Pd, Ta, and W nanoscaled films were studied using a spin-polarized positron beam. The Au and Cu surfaces showed no significant CISP. In contrast, the Pt, Pd, Ta, and W films exhibited large CISP (3~15% per input charge current of 105 A/cm2) and the CISP of Ta and W were opposite to those of Pt and Pd. The sign of the CISP obeys the same rule in spin Hall effect suggesting that the spin-orbit coupling is mainly responsible for the CISP. The magnitude of the CISP is explained by the Rashba-Edelstein mechanism rather than the diffusive spin Hall effect. This settles a controversy, that which of these two mechanisms dominates the large CISP on metal surfaces.
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