Universal intrinsic spin Hall effect

Phys Rev Lett. 2004 Mar 26;92(12):126603. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.92.126603. Epub 2004 Mar 25.


We describe a new effect in semiconductor spintronics that leads to dissipationless spin currents in paramagnetic spin-orbit coupled systems. We argue that in a high-mobility two-dimensional electron system with substantial Rashba spin-orbit coupling, a spin current that flows perpendicular to the charge current is intrinsic. In the usual case where both spin-orbit split bands are occupied, the intrinsic spin-Hall conductivity has a universal value for zero quasiparticle spectral broadening.