Spin-orbit coupling effects in materials with broken inversion symmetry are responsible for peculiar spin textures. In particular, ferroelectric materials make possible for a non-volatile control of the spin degree of freedom through the electrical inversion of the spin texture, thanks to their reversible ferroelectric polarization. Such functionality hold potential for technological applications exploiting spin effects controlled by electric fields.
Germanium Telluride stands out as material for spin-orbitronics being a Ferroelectric Rashba Semiconductors . Its non-volatile ferroelectricity generates and controls the giant bulk Rashba-type spin-splitting of electronic bands. Moreover, GeTe’ semiconductivity allows for the realization of spin-based transistors.
Here, the connection between ferroelectric polarization and Rashba spin texture in GeTe is experimentally demonstrated by combined use of Piezoresponse Force Microscopy and Spin and Angular Resolved PhotoEmission Spectroscopy (ref.  and advances). Charge-to-spin conversion phenomena in GeTe are investigated by unidirectional spin Hall magnetoresistance  in Fe/GeTe heterostructures . This work looks toward non-volatile electric control of spin transport in semiconductors.
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