Observation of the Spin Hall Effect in Semiconductors

Y. K. Kato
2004 Science  
The spatial separation of electron spins followed by the control of their individual spin dynamics has recently emerged as an essential ingredient in many proposals for spin-based technologies because it would enable both of the two spin species to be simultaneously utilized, distinct from most of the current spintronic studies and technologies wherein only one spin species could be handled at a time. Here we demonstrate that the spatial spin splitting of a coherent beam of electrons can be
more » ... eved and controlled using the interplay between an external magnetic field and Rashba spin-orbit interaction in semiconductor nanostructures. The technique of transverse magnetic focusing is used to detect this spin separation. More notably, our ability to engineer the spin-orbit interactions enables us to simultaneously manipulate and probe the coherent spin dynamics of both spin species and hence their correlation, which could open a route towards spintronics and spin-based quantum information processing. The spin-orbit interaction in materials gives rise to a separation of different spin species in momentum space, creating many interesting phenomena such as the spin Hall 1-3 , the quantum spin Hall 4, 5 effects, and the spin-momentum locking 6, 7 . However, it does not separate the spin up and spin down electrons in real space. In other words, even though different spins behave very differ-
doi:10.1126/science.1105514 pmid:15539563 fatcat:qp5bdnzvrjeq3hhgmr2tdjtrn4