Europhys. Lett.
Volume 73, Number 6, March 2006
Page(s) 927 - 933
Section Condensed matter: electronic structure, electrical, magnetic, and optical properties
Published online 10 February 2006
Europhys. Lett., 73 (6), pp. 927-933 (2006)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2005-10482-6

Superefficient electric-field-induced spin-orbit splitting in strained $\mth{p}$-type quantum wells

D. M. Gvozdic and U. Ekenberg

School of Information and Communication Technology, Royal Institute of Technology Electrum 229, SE-16440 Kista, Sweden

received 23 June 2005; accepted in final form 26 January 2006
published online 10 February 2006

We investigate theoretically the efficiency of the Rashba effect, i.e. the spin-orbit splitting resulting from an electric field. In contrast to previous studies, where the carriers have usually been taken to be electrons, we focus on holes and are able to demonstrate remarkable improvements of the effect by several orders of magnitude. We also show that the frequently-neglected lattice-mismatch between GaAs and AlGaAs can be used to further enhance the efficiency of the wave vector splitting mechanism. The Rashba effect is the fundamental mechanism behind the Datta-Das spin transistor and we find that for a small electric field of $2\un{kV/cm}$ the spin precession length becomes only $36\un{nm}$.

71.70.Ej - Spin-orbit coupling, Zeeman and Stark splitting, Jahn-Teller effect.
71.70.Fk - Strain-induced splitting.
85.75.Hh - Spin polarized field effect transistors.

© EDP Sciences 2006