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Zero-field spin splitting and spin lifetime in n-InSb/In1-xAlxSb asymmetric quantum well heterostructures

Gilbertson, A., Fearn, M., Jefferson, J., Murdin, B., Buckle, Philip Derek and Cohen, L. 2008. Zero-field spin splitting and spin lifetime in n-InSb/In1-xAlxSb asymmetric quantum well heterostructures. Physical Review B: Condensed Matter and Materials Physics 77 (16) , 165335. 10.1103/PhysRevB.77.165335

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The spin-orbit (SO) coupling parameters for the lowest conduction subband due to structural inversion asymmetry (SIA) and bulk inversion asymmetry (BIA) are calculated for a range of carrier densities in [001]-grown δ-doped n-type InSb∕In1−xAlxSb quantum wells using the established eight-band k⋅p formalism [ J. Deng et al. Phys. Rev. B 59 R5312 (1999)]. We present calculations for conditions of zero bias at 10 K. It is shown that both the SIA and BIA parameters scale approximately linearly with carrier density, and exhibit a marked dependence on well width when alloy composition is adjusted to allow maximum upper barrier height for a given well width. In contrast to other material systems, the BIA contribution to spin splitting is found to be of significant and comparable value to the SIA mechanism in these structures. We calculate the spin lifetime τs[11̅ 0] for spins oriented along [11̅ 0] based on D’yakonov–Perel’ mechanism using both the theory of Averkiev et al. J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 14 R271 (2002) and also directly the rate of precession of spins about the effective magnetic field, taking into account all three SO couplings, which show good agreement. τs[11̅ 0] is largest in the narrowest wells over the range of moderate carrier densities considered, which is attributed to the reduced magnitude of the k-cubic BIA parameter in narrow wells. The inherently large BIA induced SO coupling in these systems is shown to have considerable effect on τs[11̅ 0], which exhibits significant reduction in the maximum spin lifetime compared to previous studies that consider systems with relatively weak BIA induced SO coupling. The relaxation rate of spins oriented in the [001] direction is found to be dominated by the k-linear SIA and BIA coupling parameters and at least an order of magnitude greater than in the [11̅ 0] direction.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics
Additional Information: 13 pp.
Publisher: American Physical Society
ISSN: 1098-0121
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Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 03:12

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