Rashba spin-splitting of electrons in asymmetric quantum wells

P. S. Eldridge, W. J.H. Leyland, P. G. Lagoudakis, R. T. Harley, R. T. Phillips, R. Winkler, M. Henini, D. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


We report a comparison of conduction electron spin-splitting in III-V quantum wells caused by asymmetric band edges with that due to applied electric field. Measurements in GaAs/AlGaAs quantum wells and calculations on a range of heterostructures, both symmetric and asymmetric, lead to the conclusion that in a heterostructure with nearly "isomorphous" band edges (i.e., with conduction and valence band-edge potentials related by a constant factor, exemplified by GaAs/AlGaAs) spin splittings will be unmeasurably small even in a highly asymmetric structure. Application of an external electric field or the presence of a Hartree potential gradient in the system will generally break isomorphism and therefore produce a significant spin splitting.

Original languageEnglish
Article number045317
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jul 2010
Externally publishedYes


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