Transport of a persistent spin helix drifting transverse to the spin texture

F. Passmann, A. D. Bristow, J. N. Moore, G. Yusa, T. Mano, T. Noda, M. Betz, S. Anghel

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Time-resolved magneto-optic Kerr microscopy measures the effect of in-plane electric fields on the dynamics of a photoexcited spin distribution in a modulation-doped GaAs quantum well. The structure features nearly equal Dresselhaus and Rashba coefficients, such that there is negligible impact of spin-orbit coupling for electrons moving along the [110] or [110] directions. Meanwhile, spin texture emerges for electrons moving in the [110] or [110] directions. The overall spin pattern resembles a persistent spin helix. An in-plane electric field, applied transverse to the spin texture (along the [110] or [110] directions), introduces a drift of the spin packet and additional Larmor precessions, i.e., a marked decrease of the spatial periodicity of the spin pattern. The in-plane electric field also increases the temporal frequency of the evolving spin distribution, which is directly linked to the cubic Dresselhaus spin-orbit coupling term. Moreover, the in-plane field increases the diffusion coefficient by more than an order of magnitude. We attribute this effect to carrier heating and the separation of the photogenerated electron-hole dipole.

Original languageEnglish
Article number125404
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Mar 4


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