Optical response of relativistic electrons in the polar BiTeI semiconductor

J. S. Lee, G. A.H. Schober, M. S. Bahramy, H. Murakawa, Y. Onose, R. Arita, N. Nagaosa, Y. Tokura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Citations (Scopus)


The transitions between the spin-split bands by spin-orbit interaction are relevant to many novel phenomena such as the resonant dynamical magnetoelectric effect and the spin Hall effect. We perform optical spectroscopy measurements combined with first-principles calculations to study these transitions in the recently discovered giant bulk Rashba spin-splitting system BiTeI. Several novel features are observed in the optical spectra of the material including a sharp edge singularity due to the reduced dimensionality of the joint density of states and a systematic doping dependence of the intraband transitions between the Rashba-split branches. These confirm the bulk nature of the Rashba-type splitting in BiTeI and manifest the relativistic nature of the electron dynamics in a solid.

Original languageEnglish
Article number117401
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Sept 9


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