JETP Letters

, Volume 108, Issue 5, pp 326–328 | Cite as

Zitterbewegung of Spin Split Electrons

  • S. A. TarasenkoEmail author
  • A. V. Poshakinskiy
  • E. L. Ivchenko
  • I. Stepanov
  • M. Ersfeld
  • M. Lepsa
  • B. Beschoten
Condensed Matter


We describe the trembling motion of conduction-band electrons in solids. The effect originates from the fact that, in the presence of the Rashba/Dresselhaus spin–orbit coupling and the Zeeman splitting, the electron velocity is not a conserved quantity and contains a contribution oscillating at the frequency determined by the spin gap. The phenomenon is similar to the Zitterwebegung of relativistic particles. Trembling motion of individual electrons can be phase-synchronized by initializing the electrons in the same spin states and detected as a macroscopic high-frequency electric current, which is maintained in the system until the electron spin coherence is lost. We also show that the amplitude of such a coherent Zitterbewegung current is increased when its frequency matches the plasmon frequency.


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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Inc. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. A. Tarasenko
    • 1
    Email author
  • A. V. Poshakinskiy
    • 1
  • E. L. Ivchenko
    • 2
  • I. Stepanov
    • 2
  • M. Ersfeld
    • 2
  • M. Lepsa
    • 3
  • B. Beschoten
    • 2
  1. 1.Ioffe InstituteSt. PetersburgRussia
  2. 2.2nd Institute of Physics and Jülich Aachen Research Alliance—Fundamentals of Future Information TechnologyRheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen UniversityAachenGermany
  3. 3.Peter Grünberg Institut (PGI-9) and Jülich Aachen Research Alliance—Fundamentals of Future Information TechnologyForschungszentrum Jülich GmbHJülichGermany

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