The spin Hall effect without spin-orbit coupling

Y Zhang, J Železný, Y Sun, J van der Brink, B Yan, arXiv:1704.03917 (2017).
Y Zhang, Y Sun, H Yang, J Železný, SPP Parkin, C Felser, B Yan, arXiv:1610.04034,  Phys. Rev. B 95, 075128 (2017).

The spin Hall effect (SHE), which converts a charge current into a transverse spin current, has long been believed to be a phenomenon induced by the spin-orbit coupling. Here, we propose an alternative mechanism to realize the intrinsic SHE through a chiral magnetic structure that breaks the spin rotation symmetry. No spin-orbit coupling is needed even when the scalar spin chirality vanishes, different from the case of the topological Hall effect. In known chiral antiferromagnetic compounds Mn3X (X = Ga, Ge, and Sn), for example,
we indeed obtain large spin Hall conductivities based on ab initio calculations. Apart further developing the conceptual understanding of the SHE, our work suggests an alternative strategy to design spin Hall materials without involving heavy elements, which may be advantageous for technological applications.