Microscopic Linear Response Theory of Spin Relaxation and Relativistic Transport Phenomena in Graphene

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JournalCondensed Matter
DateAccepted/In press - 18 May 2018
DatePublished (current) - 22 May 2018
Issue number2
Volume3
Number of pages20
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

We present a unified theoretical framework for the study of spin dynamics and relativistic transport phenomena in disordered two-dimensional Dirac systems with pseudospin-spin coupling. The formalism is applied to the paradigmatic case of graphene with uniform Bychkov-Rashba interaction and shown to capture spin relaxation processes and associated charge-to-spin interconversion phenomena in response to generic external perturbations, including spin density fluctuations and electric fields. A controlled diagrammatic evaluation of the generalized spin susceptibility in the diffusive regime of weak spin-orbit interaction allows us to show that the spin and momentum lifetimes satisfy the standard Dyakonov-Perel relation for both weak (Gaussian) and resonant (unitary) nonmagnetic disorder. Finally, we demonstrate that the spin relaxation rate can be derived in the zero-frequency limit by exploiting the SU(2) covariant conservation laws for the spin observables. Our results set the stage for a fully quantum-mechanical description of spin relaxation in both pristine graphene samples with weak spin-orbit fields and in graphene heterostructures with enhanced spin-orbital effects currently attracting much attention.

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©2018 by the authors.

    Research areas

  • graphene, Spin-orbit coupling, spin galvanic effect, spin relaxation, diagrammatic theory

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