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Modeling spin relaxation in semiconductor quantum wells: Modifying the Elliot process

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Article number094003
Number of pages13
JournalSemiconductor Science and Technology
Issue number9
Early online date26 Jul 2018
DateAccepted/In press - 11 Jul 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print - 26 Jul 2018
DatePublished (current) - 1 Sep 2018


A model of the Elliot process for spin relaxation is developed that explicitly incorporates the Dresselhaus spin-splitting of the conduction band in semiconductors lacking an inversion symmetry. It is found that this model reduces to existing models in bulk if the scattering matrices are constructed from a superposition of eigenstates. It is shown that the amplitude for intra-sub-band spin relaxation disappears in quantum wells on the basis of existing models. However, an amplitude due to the Dresselhaus spin-splitting remains, becoming increasingly important as the well becomes narrower. It is also shown that this component does not disappear for scattering between spin states at the same wavevector. It is concluded that for quantum wells and lower dimensional semiconductors that this modified model should be used in analysis of the spin dynamics.

    Research areas

  • quantum wells, spin relaxation, spin-orbit interaction

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    Rights statement: This is the author accepted manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via IOP Publishing at Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

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    Licence: CC BY-NC-ND


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