Europhys. Lett.
Volume 65, Number 6, March 2004
Page(s) 850 - 856
Section Interdisciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology
Published online 01 March 2004
Europhys. Lett., 65 (6) , pp. 850-856 (2004)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2003-10195-x

Universal Rashba spin precession of two-dimensional electrons and holes

M. G. Pala1, 2, M. Governale2, J. König2 and U. Zülicke2

1  Dipartimento di Ingegneria dell'Informazione - via Diotisalvi 2, I-56126 Pisa, Italy
2  Institut für Theoretische Festkörperphysik, Universität Karlsruhe D-76128 Karlsruhe, Germany

(Received 10 June 2003; accepted in final form 5 January 2004)

We study spin precession due to Rashba spin splitting of electrons and holes in semiconductor quantum wells. Based on a simple analytical expression that we derive for the current modulation in a broad class of experimental situations of ferromagnet/nonmagnetic semiconductor/ferromagnet hybrid structures, we conclude that the Datta-Das spin transistor i) is feasible with holes and ii) its functionality is not affected by integration over injection angles. The current modulation shows a universal oscillation period, irrespective of the different forms of the Rashba Hamiltonian for electrons and holes. The analytic formulas approximate extremely well exact numerical calculations of a more elaborate Kohn-Luttinger model.

85.75.Hh - Spin polarized field effect transistors.
72.25.-b - Spin polarized transport.
73.23.Ad - Ballistic transport.

© EDP Sciences 2004