Dirac spin-orbit torques and charge pumping at the surface of topological insulators

Papa B. Ndiaye*, C. A. Akosa, M. H. Fischer, A. Vaezi, E. A. Kim, A. Manchon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


We address the nature of spin-orbit torques at the magnetic surfaces of topological insulators using the linear-response theory. We find that the so-called Dirac torques in such systems possess a different symmetry compared to their Rashba counterpart, as well as a high anisotropy as a function of the magnetization direction. In particular, the damping torque vanishes when the magnetization lies in the plane of the topological-insulator surface. We also show that the Onsager reciprocal of the spin-orbit torque, the charge pumping, induces an enhanced anisotropic damping. Via a macrospin model, we numerically demonstrate that these features have important consequences in terms of magnetization switching.

Original languageEnglish
Article number014408
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jul 6
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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