Generation of spin currents by surface plasmon resonance

K. Uchida, H. Adachi, D. Kikuchi, S. Ito, Z. Qiu, S. Maekawa, E. Saitoh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


Surface plasmons, free-electron collective oscillations in metallic nanostructures, provide abundant routes to manipulate light-electron interactions that can localize light energy and alter electromagnetic field distributions at subwavelength scales. The research field of plasmonics thus integrates nano-photonics with electronics. In contrast, electronics is also entering a new era of spintronics, where spin currents play a central role in driving devices. However, plasmonics and spin-current physics have so far been developed independently. Here we report the generation of spin currents by surface plasmon resonance. Using Au nanoparticles embedded in Pt/BiY2Fe5O12 bilayer films, we show that, when the Au nanoparticles fulfill the surface-plasmon-resonance conditions, spin currents are generated across the Pt/BiY2Fe5O12 interface. This spin-current generation cannot be explained by conventional heating effects, requiring us to introduce nonequilibrium magnons excited by surface-plasmon-induced evanescent electromagnetic fields in BiY2Fe5O12. This plasmonic spin pumping integrates surface plasmons with spin-current physics, opening the door to plasmonic spintronics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5910
JournalNature communications
Publication statusPublished - Jan 8 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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