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Recent experiments demonstrate that a ballistic version of spin resonance, mediated by spin-orbit interaction, can be induced in narrow channels of a high-mobility GaAs two-dimensional electron gas by matching the spin precession frequency with the frequency of bouncing trajectories in the channel. Contrary to the typical suppression of Dyakonov-Perel' spin relaxation in confined geometries, the spin relaxation rate increases by orders of magnitude on resonance. Here, we present Monte Carlo simulations of this effect to explore the roles of varying degrees of disorder and strength of spin-orbit interaction. These simulations help to extract quantitative spin-orbit parameters from experimental measurements of ballistic spin resonance, and may guide the development of future spintronic devices.
Scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) at liquid helium temperature is used to image potassium adsorbed on graphite at low coverage (~0.02 monolayer). Single atoms appear as protrusions on STM topographs. A statistical analysis of the position of the atoms demonstrates repulsion between adsorbates, which is quantified by comparison with molecular dynamics simulations. This gives access to the dipole moment of a single adsorbate, found to be 10.5 Debye. Time lapse imaging shows that long range order is broken by thermally activated diffusion, with a 32 meV barrier to hopping between graphite lattice sites.
Comment: Significant revisions to include comparison to theory. Related papers available at http://marcuslab.harvard.edu
Pure spin currents are measured in micron-wide channels of GaAs two-dimensional electron gas (2DEG). Spins are injected and detected using quantum point contacts, which become spin polarized at high magnetic field. High sensitivity to the spin signal is achieved in a nonlocal measurement geometry, which dramatically reduces spurious signals associated with charge currents. Measured spin relaxation lengths range from 30 to 50 microns, much longer than has been reported in GaAs 2DEG's. The technique developed here provides a flexible tool for the study of spin polarization and spin dynamics in mesoscopic structures defined in 2D semiconductor systems.
Comment: 24 pages, including supplementary materials
Spin accumulation is generated by injecting an unpolarized charge current into a channel of GaAs two-dimensional electron gas subject to an in-plane magnetic field, then measured in a non-local geometry. Unlike previous measurements that have used spin-polarized nanostructures, here the spin accumulation arises simply from the difference in bulk conductivities for spin-up and spin-down carriers. Comparison to a diffusive model that includes spin subband splitting in magnetic field suggests a significantly enhanced electron spin susceptibility in the 2D electron gas.
Most quantum point contacts (QPCs) fabricated in high-mobility 2D electron gases show a zero-bias conductance peak near pinchoff, but the origin of this peak remains a mystery. Previous experiments have primarily focused on the zero-bias peak at moderate conductance, in the range (1-2)e^2/h. Here, measurements are presented of zero-bias peaks that persist down to 10^{-4}e^2/h. Magnetic field and temperature dependencies of the zero-bias peak in the low-conductance limit are qualitatively different from the analogous phenomenology at higher conductance, with implications for existing theoretical models of transport in low-density QPCs.
Spin relaxation can be greatly enhanced in narrow channels of two-dimensional electron gas due to ballistic spin resonance, which is mediated by spin-orbit interaction for trajectories that bounce rapidly between channel walls. The channel orientation determines which momenta affect the relaxation process, so comparing relaxation for two orientations provides a direct determination of spin-orbit anisotropy. Electrical measurements of pure spin currents are shown to reveal an order of magnitude stronger relaxation for channels fabricated along the [110] crystal axis in a GaAs electron gas compared to [-110] channels, believed to result from interference between structural and bulk inversion asymmetries.
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