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Open Access Nano Express

Spin photocurrent spectra induced by Rashba- and Dresselhaus-type circular photogalvanic effect at inter-band excitation in InGaAs/GaAs/AlGaAs step quantum wells

Jinling Yu13*, Shuying Cheng1, Yunfeng Lai1, Qiao Zheng1 and Yonghai Chen2

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Micro/Nano Devices and Solar Cells, School of Physics and Information Engineering, Fuzhou University, Fuzhou 350108, People’s Republic of China

2 Key Laboratory of Semiconductor Materials Science, Institute of Semiconductors, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 912, Beijing 100083, People’s Republic of China

3 Key Laboratory of Optoelectronic Materials Chemistry and Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Fuzhou 350002, People’s Republic of China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2014, 9:130  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-130

Published: 19 March 2014

Abstract

Spin photocurrent spectra induced by Rashba- and Dresselhaus-type circular photogalvanic effect (CPGE) at inter-band excitation have been experimentally investigated in InGaAs/GaAs/AlGaAs step quantum wells (QWs) at room temperature. The Rashba- and Dresselhaus-induced CPGE spectra are quite similar with each other during the spectral region corresponding to the transition of the excitonic state 1H1E (the first valence subband of heavy hole to the first conduction subband of electrons). The ratio of Rashba- and Dresselhaus-induced CPGE current for the transition 1H1E is estimated to be 8.8±0.1, much larger than that obtained in symmetric QWs (4.95). Compared to symmetric QWs, the reduced well width enhances the Dresselhaus-type spin splitting, but the Rashba-type spin splitting increases more rapidly in the step QWs. Since the degree of the segregation effect of indium atoms and the intensity of build-in field in the step QWs are comparable to those in symmetric QWs, as proved by reflectance difference and photoreflectance spectra, respectively, the larger Rashba-type spin splitting is mainly induced by the additional interface introduced by step structures.

Keywords:
Circular photogalvanic effect spectroscopy; Reflectance difference spectroscopy; Rashba and Dresselhaus spin splitting; In-plane optical anisotropy