The Rashba effect leads to a chiral precession of the spins of moving electrons, while the Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction (DMI) generates preference towards a chiral profile of local spins. We predict that the exchange interaction between these two spin systems results in a “chiral” magnetoresistance depending on the chirality of the local spin texture. We observe this magnetoresistance by measuring the domain wall (DW) resistance in a uniquely designed Pt/Co/Pt zigzag wire and by changing the chirality of the DW with applying an in-plane magnetic field. A chirality-dependent DW resistance is found, and a quantitative analysis shows a good agreement with a theory based on the Rashba model. Moreover, the DW resistance measurement allows us to independently determine the strength of the Rashba effect and the DMI simultaneously, and the result implies a possible correlation between the Rashba effect, the DMI, and the symmetric Heisenberg exchange.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)