Current-induced spin polarization (CISP) is rederived in ballistic spin-orbit-coupled electron systems, based on equilibrium statistical mechanics. A simple and useful picture is correspondingly proposed to help understand the CISP and predict the polarization direction. Nonequilibrium Landauer-Keldysh formalism is applied to demonstrate the validity of the statistical picture, taking the linear Rashba-Dresselhaus  two-dimensional system as a specific example. Spin densities induced by the CISP in semiconductor heterostructures and in metallic surface states are compared, showing that the CISP increases with the spin-splitting strength, and hence suggesting that the CISP should be more observable on metal and semimetal surfaces due to the discovered strong Rashba splitting. An application of the CISP designed to generate a spin-Hall pattern in the in-plane, instead of the out-of-plane, component is also proposed.
|Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
|Published - 2008 10月 20
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