Hole spin dynamics and valence-band spin excitations in two-dimensional hole systems

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Abstract

In recent years, the spin dynamics and spin–orbit interaction in GaAs-based two-dimensional hole systems (2DHS) have created a lot of attention. This is due to the complex structure of the valence band, with its p-like character, which leads to strong spin–orbit coupling. In this paper, we review our recent studies on hole spin dynamics and valence-band spin excitations in GaAs-based, p-modulation-doped quantum wells (QWs). In 2DHS with low carrier concentration, we demonstrate that maximizing the heavy-hole–light-hole band splitting by changing the QW width leads to long hole spin dephasing times at low temperatures. Different mechanisms for initializing a resident hole spin polarization by optical excitation are presented. To accurately determine hole spin dynamics parameters, the resonant spin amplification technique is utilized. The strong anisotropy of the hole g factor, and electrical g factor control are investigated, using this technique. In highly doped 2DHS, we use resonant inelastic light scattering (RILS) to study the spin splitting of the valence band. We observe a low-energy spin-density excitation (SDE), which is a measure of the spin splitting of the hole ground state. By varying the laser energy in the RILS experiment, we can resonantly probe the k dependence of the spin splitting. The spectral shape of the SDE depends on the orientation of the light polarizations relative to the crystal axes and reflects the in-plane anisotropy of the valence-band spin splitting.

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