Anisotropic intrinsic spin Hall effect in quantum wires

A. W. Cummings, R. Akis, D. K. Ferry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

We use numerical simulations to investigate the spin Hall effect in quantum wires in the presence of both Rashba and Dresselhaus spinorbit coupling. We find that the intrinsic spin Hall effect is highly anisotropic with respect to the orientation of the wire, and that the nature of this anisotropy depends strongly on the electron density and the relative strengths of the Rashba and Dresselhaus spinorbit couplings. In particular, at low densities, when only one subband of the quantum wire is occupied, the spin Hall effect is strongest for electron momentum along the [N110] axis, which is the opposite of what is expected for the purely 2D case. In addition, when more than one subband is occupied, the strength and anisotropy of the spin Hall effect can vary greatly over relatively small changes in electron density, which makes it difficult to predict which wire orientation will maximize the strength of the spin Hall effect. These results help to illuminate the role of quantum confinement in spinorbit-coupled systems, and can serve as a guide for future experimental work on the use of quantum wires for spin-Hall-based spintronic applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number465301
JournalJournal of Physics Condensed Matter
Volume23
Issue number46
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 23 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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