Spin accumulation with spin-orbit interaction

Henri Saarikoski, Gerrit E.W. Bauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Spin accumulation is a crucial but imprecise concept in spintronics. In metal-based spintronics it is characterized in terms of semiclassical distribution functions. In semiconductors with a strong spin-orbit coupling the spin accumulation is interpreted as a superposition of coherent eigenstates. Both views can be reconciled by taking into account the electron-electron interaction: a sufficiently strong self-consistent exchange field reduces a spin accumulation to a chemical potential difference between the two spin bands even in the presence of spin-orbit coupling. We demonstrate the idea on a clean two-dimensional electron gas by showing how the exchange field protects a spin accumulation from dephasing and introduces an easy-plane anisotropy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number097204
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Mar 2
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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