The spin-orbit interaction (SOI) is a key tool for manipulating and functionalizing spin-dependent electron transport. The desired function often depends on the SOI-generated phase that is accumulated by the wave function of an electron as it passes through the device. This phase, known as the Aharonov-Casher phase, therefore depends on both the device geometry and the SOI strength. Here, we propose a method for directly measuring the Aharonov-Casher phase generated in an SOI-active weak link, based on the Aharonov-Casher-phase dependent anisotropy of its magnetoconductance. Specifically, we consider weak links in which the Rashba interaction is caused by an external electric field, but our method is expected to apply also for other forms of the spin-orbit coupling. Measuring this magnetoconductance anisotropy thus allows calibrating Rashba spintronic devices by an external electric field that tunes the spin-orbit interaction and hence the Aharonov-Casher phase.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (all)