We investigate a spin-electricity conversion effect in a topological insulator/ferromagnet heterostructure. In the spin-momentum-locked surface state, an electric current generates nonequilibrium spin accumulation, which causes a spin-orbit torque that acts on the ferromagnet. When spins in the ferromagnet are completely parallel to the accumulated spin, this spin-orbit torque is zero. In the presence of spin excitations, however, a coupling between magnons and electrons enables us to obtain a nonvanishing torque. In this paper, we consider a model of the heterostructure in which a three-dimensional magnon gas is coupled with a two-dimensional massless Dirac electron system at the interface. We calculate the torque induced by an electric field, which can be interpreted as a magnon spin current, up to the lowest order of the electron-magnon interaction. We derive the expressions for high and low temperatures and estimate the order of magnitude of the induced spin current for realistic materials at room temperature.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics