Bernardes, Esmerindo and Schliemann, John and Lee, Minchul and Egues, J. Carlos and Loss, Daniel
Spin-Orbit Interaction in Symmetric Wells with Two Subbands.
Phys. Rev. Lett. 99, 076603.
Other URL: http://link.aps.org/doi/10.1103/PhysRevLett.99.076603
We investigate the spin-orbit (SO) interaction in two-dimensional electron gases in quantum wells with two subbands. From the 8×8 Kane model, we derive a new intersubband-induced SO term which resembles the functional form of the Rashba SO but is nonzero even in symmetric structures. This follows from the distinct parity of the confined states (even or odd) which obliterates the need for asymmetric potentials. We self-consistently calculate the new SO coupling strength for realistic wells and find it comparable to the usual Rashba constant. Our new SO term gives rise to a nonzero ballistic spin-Hall conductivity, which changes sign as a function of the Fermi energy (εF) and can induce an unusual Zitterbewegung with cycloidal trajectories without magnetic fields.