, Volume 87, Issue 3, pp 577-584
Date: 09 Mar 2007

Rashba effect in Gax In1-x As/InP quantum wire structures

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An overview is given on the Rashba effect in GaxIn1-xAs/InP quantum wires. First, the effect of Rashba spin–orbit coupling on the energy level spectrum of quantum wires with different shapes of the confining potential is theoretically investigated. The wave functions as well as the spin densities in the quantum wire are analyzed for different magnetic fields. It is found that, owing to the additional geometrical confinement, a modification of the characteristic beating pattern in the magnetoresistance can be expected. The theoretical findings are compared to measurements on two different types of wires: First, single wires and, second, sets of parallel wires. A characteristic beating pattern in the Shubnikov–de Haas oscillations is observed for wires with an effective width down to approximately 400 nm. The beating pattern is significantly better resolved for the samples with sets of parallel wires, owing to the effective suppression of conductance fluctuations. A comparison with theoretical simulations confirms that the strength of the Rashba effect is basically not affected by the geometrical confinement of the wires. However, for wires with a very small effective width the strong carrier confinement leads to a suppression of the characteristic beating pattern in the Shubnikov–de Haas oscillations.