Spin-orbit induced electronic spin separation in semiconductor nanostructures

Makoto Kohda, Shuji Nakamura, Yoshitaka Nishihara, Kensuke Kobayashi, Teruo Ono, Jun Ichiro Ohe, Yasuhiro Tokura, Taiki Mineno, Junsaku Nitta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)


The demonstration of quantized spin splitting by Stern and Gerlach is one of the most important experiments in modern physics. Their discovery was the precursor of recent developments in spin-based technologies. Although electrical spin separation of charged particles is fundamental in spintronics, in non-uniform magnetic fields it has been difficult to separate the spin states of charged particles due to the Lorentz force, as well as to the insufficient and uncontrollable field gradients. Here we demonstrate electronic spin separation in a semiconductor nanostructure. To avoid the Lorentz force, which is inevitably induced when an external magnetic field is applied, we utilized the effective non-uniform magnetic field which originates from the Rashba spin-orbit interaction in an InGaAs-based heterostructure. Using a Stern-Gerlach-inspired mechanism, together with a quantum point contact, we obtained field gradients of 10 8 T m-1 resulting in a highly polarized spin current.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1082
JournalNature communications
Publication statusPublished - 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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