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Phys Rev Lett. 2004 Feb 27;92(8):086602. Epub 2004 Feb 27.

Spin polarization of electrons by nonmagnetic heterostructures: the basics of spin optics.

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Department of Condensed Matter Physics, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel.


We propose to use the lateral interface between two regions with different strengths of the spin-orbit interaction(s) to spin polarize the electrons in gated two-dimensional semiconductor heterostructures. For a beam with a nonzero angle of incidence, the transmitted electrons will split into two spin polarization components propagating at different angles. We analyze the refraction at such an interface and outline the basic schemes for filtration and control of the electron spin.

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