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Theory of intrinsic electric polarization and spin Hall current in spin-orbit-coupled semiconductor heterostructures
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Theoretical Physics.
2008 (English)In: Physical Review B. Condensed Matter and Materials Physics, ISSN 1098-0121, E-ISSN 1550-235X, Vol. 78, no 11, 115304- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We present Maxwell equations with source terms for the electromagnetic field interacting with a moving electron in a spin-orbit-coupled semiconductor heterostructure. We start with the eight-band kp model and derive the electric and magnetic polarization vectors using the Gordon-type decomposition method. Next, we present the kp effective Lagrangian for the nonparabolic conduction-band electrons interacting with electromagnetic field in semiconductor heterostructures with abrupt interfaces. This Lagrangian gives rise to the Maxwell equations with source terms and boundary conditions at heterointerfaces, as well as equations for the electron envelope wave function in the external electromagnetic field, together with appropriate boundary conditions. As an example, we consider spin-orbit effects caused by the structure inversion asymmetry for the conduction-electron states. We compute the intrinsic contribution to the electric polarization of the electron gas in asymmetric quantum well in equilibrium and in the stationary spin Hall regime. We argue that this contribution, as well as the intrinsic spin Hall current, are not cancelled by the elastic-scattering processes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 78, no 11, 115304- p.
National Category
Physical Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-107873DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.78.115304ISI: 000259690800059OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-107873DiVA: diva2:233365
Available from: 2009-08-31 Created: 2009-08-31 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved

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