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Phys Rev Lett. 2009 Oct 9;103(15):156801. Epub 2009 Oct 5.

Peculiar Rashba splitting originating from the two-dimensional symmetry of the surface.

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  • 1Graduate School of Advanced Integration Science, Chiba University, Chiba 263-8522, Japan.


A peculiar Rashba effect is found at a point in the Brillouin zone, where the time-reversal symmetry is broken, though this symmetry was believed to be a necessary condition for Rashba splitting. This finding obtained experimentally by photoemission measurements on a Bi/Si(111)-(sqrt(3) x sqrt(3)) surface is fully confirmed by a first-principles theoretical calculation. We found that the peculiar Rashba effect is simply understood by the two-dimensional symmetry of the surface, and that this effect leads to an unconventional nonvortical Rashba spin structure at a point with time-reversal invariance.

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