Discovery of two-dimensional (2D) topological semimetals has revealed the opportunities to realize several extraordinary physical phenomena in condensed matter physics. Specifically, these semimetals with strong spin-orbit coupling, novel spin texture, and broken inversion symmetry are predicted to exhibit a large spin Hall effect that can efficiently convert the charge current to a spin current. Here for the first time, we report the direct experimental observation of a large and gate-controlled spin Hall and inverse spin Hall effects in a layered semimetal WTe2 at room temperature obeying Onsager reciprocity relation. We demonstrate the creation and detection of the pure spin current generated by spin Hall phenomenon in WTe2 by making van der Waals heterostructures with graphene, taking advantage of its long spin coherence length and a large spin transmission efficiency at the heterostructure interface. A large and gate-tunable spin Hall signal has been observed with spin Hall angle up to 0.37 and a spin Hall resistivity r{ho}SH= 3.29 x10-4 {Omega}.cm at room temperature which is almost one to two orders of magnitude larger than that of the conventional heavy metals. These experimental findings well supported by ab initio calculations; pave the way for utilization of gate tunable spin-orbit induced phenomena in 2D material heterostructures for spin-based device architectures.

Published in: "arXiv Material Science".