University of Connecticut

Events Calendar

Condensed Matter Physics Seminar

Tuesday, February 19, 2019
2:00pm – 3:00pm

Storrs Campus

Dr. Alexander Khaetskii Department of Physics, University at Buffalo, SUNY and Department of Physics, UConn

Giant edge spin accumulation in a symmetric quantum well with two subbands We have studied [1] the edge spin accumulation due to an electric current in a high mobility two-dimensional electron gas formed in a symmetric quantum well with two subbands. This study is strongly motivated by the recent experiment [2] which demonstrated the spin accumulation near the edges of a symmetric two-subband GaAs structure in contrast to no effect in a single-subband configuration. The intrinsic mechanism of the spin-orbit (SO) interaction we consider arises from the coupling between two subband states of opposite parities [3].

We have explained the experimental results. We obtain, in particular, a parametrically large magnitude of the edge spin density for a two-subband well as compared to the usual single-subband structure. Following the method developed in [4], we show that the presence of a gap in the system (i.e., the energy separation between the two subband bottoms) changes drastically the picture of the edge spin accumulation. The gap value governs the effective strength of the inter-subband SO interaction which provides a controllable crossover from the regime of weak spin accumulation to the regime of strong one by varying the Fermi energy (electron density) and/or energy gap. We estimate that by changing the gap from zero up to 1-2 K, the magnitude of the effect changes by three orders of magnitude. This opens up the possibility for the design of new spintronic devices.

[1]. A. Khaetskii and J. C. Egues, Europhysics Letters 118, 57006 (2017).

[2]. F. Hernandez et al., Phys. Rev. B 88, 161305(R) (2013).

[3]. E. Bernardes et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 99, 076603 (2007).

[4]. A. Khaetskii, Phys. Rev. B 89, 195408 (2014).


Prof. A. Balatsky

Physics Department (primary)

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