The European Physical Journal B

, Volume 59, Issue 4, pp 451–456 | Cite as

Quantum simulations of spin-relaxation and transport in copper

  • K. P. McKennaEmail author
  • G. J. Morgan
Topical Issue on New Trends in Spin Transfer Physics


A quantum equation of motion method is applied to simulate conduction electron spin-relaxation and transport in the presence of the spin-orbit interaction and disorder. A spin-relaxation time of 25ps is calculated for Cu with a realistic low temperature resistivity of 3.2 μΩ cm – corresponding to a spin-diffusion length of about 0.4 μm. Spin-relaxation in a finite nanocrystallite of Cu is also simulated and a short spin-relaxation time (0.47 ps) is calculated for a crystallite with 7% surface atoms. The spin-relaxation calculated for bulk Cu is in good agreement with experimental evidence, and the dramatic nanocrystallite effect observed has important implications for nano-spintronic devices.


72.25.Ba Spin polarized transport in metals 73.63.-b Electronic transport in nanoscale materials and structures 72.25.Hg Electrical injection of spin polarized carriers 


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Copyright information

© EDP Sciences/Società Italiana di Fisica/Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physics and AstronomyUniversity College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.London Centre for Nanotechnology, 17-19 Gordon StreetLondonUK
  3. 3.School of Physics and Astronomy, E.C. Stoner Laboratory, University of LeedsLeeds.UK

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