Large spin-orbit coupling in carbon nanotubes

Steele, G. A. and Pei, Fei and Laird, E A and Jol, J M and Meerwaldt, H. B. and Kouwenhoven, L. P. (2013) Large spin-orbit coupling in carbon nanotubes. Nature Communications, 4. ISSN 2041-1723

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It has recently been recognised that the strong spin-orbit interaction present in solids can lead to new phenomena, such as materials with non-trivial topological order. Although the atomic spin-orbit coupling in carbon is weak, the spin-orbit coupling in carbon nanotubes can be significant due to their curved surface. Previous works have reported spin-orbit couplings in reasonable agreement with theory, and this coupling strength has formed the basis of a large number of theoretical proposals. Here we report a spin-orbit coupling in three carbon nanotube devices that is an order of magnitude larger than previously measured. We find a zero-field spin splitting of up to 3.4 meV, corresponding to a built-in effective magnetic field of 29 T aligned along the nanotube axis. Although the origin of the large spin-orbit coupling is not explained by existing theories, its strength is promising for applications of the spin-orbit interaction in carbon nanotubes devices.

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Journal Article
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Nature Communications
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04 Apr 2018 13:04
Last Modified:
15 Mar 2022 03:34