Date of this Version
Phys. Rev. B 101, 224405 (2020)
Spin transport at metallic interfaces is an essential ingredient of various spintronic device concepts, such as giant magnetoresistance, spin-transfer torque, and spin pumping. Spin-orbit coupling plays an important role in many such devices. In particular, spin current is partially absorbed at the interface due to spin-orbit coupling. We develop a general magnetoelectronic circuit theory and generalize the concept of spin-mixing conductance, accounting for various mechanisms responsible for spin-flip scattering. For the special case when exchange interactions dominate, we give a simple expression for the spin-mixing conductance in terms of the contributions responsible for spin relaxation (i.e., spin memory loss), spin torque, and spin precession. The spin memory loss parameter δ is related to spin-flip transmission and reflection probabilities. There is no straightforward relation between spin torque and spin memory loss. We calculate the spin-flip scattering rates for N|N, F|N, and F|F interfaces using the Landauer-Büttiker method within the linear muffin-tin orbital method and determine the values of δ using circuit theory.