Wednesday, July 31, 2013

1212.6262 (Xintao Bi et al.)

Anomalous spin precession and spin Hall effect in semiconductor quantum

Xintao Bi, Peiru He, E. M. Hankiewicz, R. Winkler, Giovanni Vignale, Dimitrie Culcer
Spin-orbit (SO) interactions give a spin-dependent correction r_so to the position operator, referred to as the anomalous position operator. We study the contributions of r_so to the spin-Hall effect (SHE) in quasi two-dimensional (2D) semiconductor quantum wells with strong band structure SO interactions that cause spin precession. The skew scattering and side-jump scattering terms in the SHE vanish, but we identify two additional terms in the SHE, due to r_so, which have not been considered in the literature so far. One term reflects the modification of the spin precession due to the action of the external electric field (the field drives the current in the quantum well), which produces, via r_so, an effective magnetic field perpendicular to the plane of the quantum well. The other term reflects a similar modification of the spin precession due to the action of the electric field created by random impurities, and appears in a careful formulation of the Born approximation. We refer to these two effects collectively as anomalous spin precession and we note that they contribute to the SHE to the first order in the SO coupling constant even though they formally appear to be of second order. In electron systems with weak momentum scattering, the contribution of the anomalous spin precession due to the external electric field equals 1/2 the usual side-jump SHE, while the additional impurity-dependent contribution depends on the form of the band structure SO coupling. For band structure SO linear in wave vector the two additional contributions cancel. For band structure SO cubic in wave vector only the contribution due to external electric field is present, and can be detected through its density dependence. In 2D hole systems both anomalous spin precession contributions vanish identically.
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