Intrinsic spin Hall effect in topological insulators: A first-principles study

S. M. Farzaneh, Shaloo Rakheja

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The intrinsic spin Hall conductivity of typical topological insulators Sb2Se3, Sb2Te3, Bi2Se3, and Bi2Te3 in the bulk form, is calculated from first principles by using density functional theory and the linear response theory in a maximally localized Wannier basis. The results show that there is a finite spin Hall conductivity of 100-200 (/2e)(S/cm) in the vicinity of the Fermi energy. Although the resulting values are an order of magnitude smaller than that of heavy metals, they show a comparable spin Hall angle due to their relatively lower longitudinal conductivity. The spin Hall angle for different compounds are then compared to that of recent experiments on topological-insulator/ferromagnet heterostructures. The comparison suggests that the role of the bulk in generating a spin current and consequently a spin torque in magnetization switching applications is comparable to that of the surface including the spin-momentum locked surface states and the Rashba-Edelstein effect at the interface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number114202
JournalPhysical Review Materials
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 18 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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