Persistent Skyrmion Lattice of Noninteracting Electrons with Spin-Orbit Coupling

Fu, Jiyong and Penteado, Poliana H. and Hachiya, Marco O. and Loss, Daniel and Egues, J. Carlos. (2016) Persistent Skyrmion Lattice of Noninteracting Electrons with Spin-Orbit Coupling. Physical Review Letters, 117 (22). p. 226401.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/75410/

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A persistent spin helix (PSH) is a robust helical spin-density pattern arising in disordered 2D electron gases with Rashba α and Dresselhaus β spin-orbit (SO) tuned couplings, i.e., α=±β. Here, we investigate the emergence of a persistent Skyrmion lattice (PSL) resulting from the coherent superposition of PSHs along orthogonal directions-crossed PSHs-in wells with two occupied subbands ν=1, 2. For realistic GaAs wells, we show that the Rashba α_{ν} and Dresselhaus β_{ν} couplings can be simultaneously tuned to equal strengths but opposite signs, e.g., α_{1}=β_{1} and α_{2}=-β_{2}. In this regime, and away from band anticrossings, our noninteracting electron gas sustains a topologically nontrivial Skyrmion-lattice spin-density excitation, which inherits the robustness against spin-independent disorder and interactions from its underlying crossed PSHs. We find that the spin relaxation rate due to the interband SO coupling is comparable to that of the cubic Dresselhaus term as a mechanism of the PSL decay. Near anticrossings, the interband-induced spin mixing leads to unusual spin textures along the energy contours beyond those of the Rahsba-Dresselhaus bands. Our PSL opens up the unique possibility of observing topological phenomena, e.g., topological and Skyrmion Hall effects, in ordinary GaAs wells with noninteracting electrons.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Physik > Physik > Theoretische Physik Mesoscopics (Loss)
UniBasel Contributors:Loss, Daniel
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:American Physical Society
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:22 Apr 2020 12:13
Deposited On:22 Apr 2020 12:13

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