Interfacial skew tunneling in group III-V and group IV semiconductors driven by exchange and spin-orbit interactions; Study in the frame of an extended k.p theory

Abstract : We report on theoretical, analytical and computational investigations and k.p calculations of electron and hole tunneling, in model systems and heterostructures composed of exchange-split III-V semiconductors involving spin-orbit interaction (SOI). We show that the interplay of SOI and exchange interactions at interfaces and tunnel junctions results in a large difference of transmission for carriers, depending on the sign of their incident in-plane wave vector (k//): this leads to interfacial skew-tunneling effects that we refer to as Anomalous Tunnel Hall Effect (ATHE). In a 2x2 exchange-split band model, the transmission asymmetry (A) between incidence angles related to +k// and -k// wave vector components, is shown to be maximal at peculiar points of the Brillouin zone corresponding to a totally quenched transmission (A = 100%). More generally, we demonstrate the universal character of the transmission asymmetry A vs. in-plane wavevector component, for given reduced kinetic energy and exchange parameter, A being universally scaled by a unique function, independent of the spin-orbit strength and of the material parameters. Similarly, striking tunneling phenomena arising in topological insulators have just been predicted. While they all are related to the spin-orbit directional anisotropy, ATHE differs from the tunneling Hall effect, spontaneous anomalous, and spin Hall effects, or spin-galvanic effect, previously reported for electron transport, by its giant forward asymmetry and chiral nature. These features have non-trivial connection with the symmetry properties of the system. All these results show that a new class of tunneling phenomena can now be investigated and experimentally probed.When valence bands are involved, we show (using 14x14 Hamiltonian and within a 2x2 toy model) that ATHE accurate calculations rely on a subtle treatment of the spurious (unphysical) states and we give an insight into the topology of the complex band structure. We introduce two numerical methods to remove spurious states and successfully, include them in 30-band codes able to describe indirect bandgap group-IV semiconductors. Calculations performed in the valence bands of model heterostructures including tunnel barriers, in both 6x6 and 14x14 k.p Hamiltonians without inversion asymmetry, more astonishingly highlight the same trends in the transmission asymmetry which appears to be related to the difference of orbital chirality and to the related branching (overlap) of the corresponding evanescent wave functions responsible for the tunneling current. Besides, we built an analytical model and developed scattering perturbative techniques based on Green’s function method to analytically deal with electrons and holes and to compare these results with numerical calculations. The agreement between the different approaches is very good. In the case of holes, the asymmetry appears to be robust and persists even when a single electrode is magnetic.
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Thi Huong Dang. Interfacial skew tunneling in group III-V and group IV semiconductors driven by exchange and spin-orbit interactions; Study in the frame of an extended k.p theory. Physics [physics]. Université Paris-Saclay, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016SACLX089⟩. ⟨tel-01690738⟩

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