Control and local measurement of the spin chemical potential in a magnetic insulator

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Abstract

The spin chemical potential characterizes the tendency of spins to diffuse. Probing this quantity could provide insight into materials such as magnetic insulators and spin liquids and aid optimization of spintronic devices. Here we introduce single-spin magnetometry as a generic platform for nonperturbative, nanoscale characterization of spin chemical potentials. We experimentally realize this platform using diamond nitrogen-vacancy centers and use it to investigate magnons in a magnetic insulator, finding that the magnon chemical potential can be controlled by driving the system’s ferromagnetic resonance. We introduce a symmetry-based two-fluid theory describing the underlying magnon processes, measure the local thermomagnonic torque, and illustrate the detection sensitivity using electrically controlled spin injection. Our results pave the way for nanoscale control and imaging of spin transport in mesoscopic systems.

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