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Maximizing the spin Hall effect by tuning crystal structure

The spin Hall ratio of a material is the efficiency with which an applied electrical current generates a spin current that can rapidly manipulate the magnetic orientation of an adjacent magnetic device.  This has application in next-generation high-performance memory applications. Cornell scientists have found that thin films of SrRuO3, when optimally produced, have an exceptionally high spin Hall ratio. This is directly correlated with the degree that octahedral RuO6 subunits in the crystal are tilted away from a flat in-plane orientation. This work demonstrates that control over crystal structure allows profound changes in the spin Hall ratio and points the way to producing oxide materials with even higher energy efficiency for applications.