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Spin transport in tantalum studied using magnetic single and double layers

Montoya, E.; Omelchenko, P.; Coutts, C.; Lee-Hone, N. R.; Hübner, R.; Broun, D.; Heinrich, B.; Girt, E.


We report on spin transport in sputter-grown Ta films measured by ferromagnetic resonance. Spin diffusion length and spin mixing conductance are determined from magnetic damping measurements for a varying thickness of Ta layer 0 <= dTa <= 10 nm. The different boundary conditions of single- and double-magnetic-layer heterostructures Py|Ta and Py|Ta|[Py|Fe] allow us to significantly narrow down the parameter space and test various models.We showt hat a common approach of using bulk resistivity value in the analysis yields inconsistent spin diffusion length and spin mixing conductance values for magnetic single- and double-layer structures. X-ray diffraction shows that bulk Ta is a combination of β-Ta and bcc-Ta. However, in the region of significant spin transport, <~ 2 nm, there is an intermediate region of growth where the Ta lacks long-range structural order, as observed by transmission electron microscopy. Thickness-dependent resistivity measurements confirm that the bulk and intermediate regions have significantly different resistivity values. We find that the data can be well represented if the intermediate region resistivity value is used in the analysis. Additionally, the data can be fit if resistivity has the measured thickness dependence and spin diffusion length is restricted to be inversely proportional to resistivity. Finally, we rule out a model in which spin diffusion length is a constant, while the resistivity has the measured thickness dependence.

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