The drift of electron spin helices in an external in-plane electric field in GaAs quantum wells is studied by means of time-resolved magneto-optical Kerr microscopy. The evolution of the spin distribution measured for different excitation powers reveals that, for short delay times and higher excitation powers, the spin helix drift slows down while its envelope becomes anisotropic. The effect is understood as a local decrease of the electron gas mobility due to electron collisions with nonequilibrium holes within the excitation spot and is reproduced well in the kinetic theory framework. For larger delay times, when the electrons constituting the spin helix and nonequilibrium holes are separated by an electric field, the spin helix drift accelerates and the mobility reaches its unperturbed value again.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics