Exact SU(2) symmetry and persistent spin helix in a spin-orbit coupled system

B. Andrei Bernevig, J. Orenstein, Shou Cheng Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

345 Scopus citations

Abstract

Spin-orbit coupled systems generally break the spin rotation symmetry. However, for a model with equal Rashba and Dresselhauss coupling constants, and for the [110] Dresselhauss model, a new type of SU(2) spin rotation symmetry is discovered. This symmetry is robust against spin-independent disorder and interactions and is generated by operators whose wave vector depends on the coupling strength. It renders the spin lifetime infinite at this wave vector, giving rise to a persistent spin helix. We obtain the spin fluctuation dynamics at, and away from, the symmetry point and suggest experiments to observe the persistent spin helix.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number236601
JournalPhysical review letters
Volume97
Issue number23
DOIs
StatePublished - 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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