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Spin-orbit interaction and snake states in a graphene p-n junction

Bercioux, D. & De Martino, A. ORCID: 0000-0002-3656-0419 (2019). Spin-orbit interaction and snake states in a graphene p-n junction. Physical Review B, 100(11), article number 115407. doi: 10.1103/physrevb.100.115407


We study a model of a p-n junction in single-layer graphene in the presence of a perpendicular magnetic field and spin-orbit interactions. By solving the relevant quantum-mechanical problem for a potential step, we determine the exact spectrum of spin-resolved dispersive Landau levels. Close to zero energy, we find a pair of linearly dispersing zero modes, which possess a wave-vector-dependent spin polarization and can be regarded as quantum analogs of spinful snake states. We show that the Rashba spin-orbit interaction, in particular, produces a wave vector shift between the dispersions of these modes with observable interference effects. These effects can in principle provide a way to detect the presence of Rashba spin-orbit interaction and measure its strength. Our results suggest that a graphene p-n junction in the presence of strong spin-orbit interaction could be used as a building block in a spin field-effect transistor.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2017 American Physical Society
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics
T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Mathematics
SWORD Depositor:
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