New perspectives for Rashba spin-orbit coupling

Nat Mater. 2015 Sep;14(9):871-82. doi: 10.1038/nmat4360.


In 1984, Bychkov and Rashba introduced a simple form of spin-orbit coupling to explain the peculiarities of electron spin resonance in two-dimensional semiconductors. Over the past 30 years, Rashba spin-orbit coupling has inspired a vast number of predictions, discoveries and innovative concepts far beyond semiconductors. The past decade has been particularly creative, with the realizations of manipulating spin orientation by moving electrons in space, controlling electron trajectories using spin as a steering wheel, and the discovery of new topological classes of materials. This progress has reinvigorated the interest of physicists and materials scientists in the development of inversion asymmetric structures, ranging from layered graphene-like materials to cold atoms. This Review discusses relevant recent and ongoing realizations of Rashba physics in condensed matter.

Publication types

  • Review