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Giant magnon spin conductivity in ultrathin yttrium iron garnet films

Abstract

Conductivities are key material parameters that govern various types of transport (electronic charge, spin, heat and so on) driven by thermodynamic forces. Magnons, the elementary excitations of the magnetic order, flow under the gradient of a magnon chemical potential1,2,3 in proportion to a magnon (spin) conductivity. The magnetic insulator yttrium iron garnet is the material of choice for efficient magnon spin transport. Here we report a giant magnon conductivity in thin yttrium iron garnet films with thicknesses down to 3.7 nm when the number of occupied two-dimensional subbands is reduced from a large number to a few, which corresponds to a transition from three-dimensional to two-dimensional magnon transport. We extract a two-dimensional magnon spin conductivity around 1 S at room temperature, comparable to the (electronic) conductivity of the high-mobility two-dimensional electron gas in GaAs quantum wells at millikelvin temperatures4. Such high conductivities offer opportunities to develop low-dissipation magnon-based spintronic devices.

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Fig. 1: Device layout.
Fig. 2: Angular dependence of the normalized non-local signal \(\frac{{V}_{{{{\rm{nl}}}}}(\omega)}{IL}\).
Fig. 3: Distance dependence of the non-local resistance \({R}_{{{{\rm{nl}}}}}^{1\omega }\).
Fig. 4: Thickness dependence of the non-local magnon transport.

Data availability

The data of the article and Supplementary Information are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.

Code availability

Numerical simulations in this work are performed using the commercial finite-element software COMSOL MULTIPHYSICS (v.5.4). All related codes are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.

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Acknowledgements

We thank O. Klein for insightful discussions. We also acknowledge the helpful discussion with J. Shan and T. Yu. We acknowledge the technical support from J. G. Holstein, H. de Vries, H. Adema, T. Schouten and A. Joshua. X.-Y.W. and B.J.v.W. acknowledge the support from the research programme ‘Skyrmionics’ (project no. 170), which is financed by the Dutch Research Council (NWO). X.-Y.W., O.A.S., C.H.S.L. and B.J.v.W. also acknowledge the support by NanoLab NL and the Spinoza Prize awarded in 2016 to B.J.v.W. by NWO. G.E.W.B. was supported by JSPS Kakenhi grant 19H00645.

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B.J.v.W. and X.-Y.W. conceived the experiments. X.-Y.W. designed and carried out the experiments, with help from O.A.S.; J.B.Y. supplied the YIG samples used in the fabrication of devices. X.-Y.W., O.A.S., C.H.S.L., G.E.W.B. and B.J.v.W. were involved in the analysis. X.-Y.W. wrote the paper with O.A.S., G.E.W.B. and B.J.v.W. All authors commented on the manuscript.

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Correspondence to X.-Y. Wei.

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Supplementary Figs. 1–21, Tables 1–3 and Discussion.

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Wei, XY., Santos, O.A., Lusero, C.H.S. et al. Giant magnon spin conductivity in ultrathin yttrium iron garnet films. Nat. Mater. (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41563-022-01369-0

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