Henry van Driel - Spin Hall Effect for Electrons and Photons

Prof Henry van Driel, Department of Physics, University of Toronto, Canada


Hall effects have provided important insights into the electronic properties of solids since 1879. In the spin Hall effect, a pure electrical current produces a pure transverse spin current while the inverse spin Hall effect describes the converse situation. I describe the generation and detection of both these spin Hall effects in GaAs using coherence control optical techniques. An analogous spin Hall effect for light is also demonstrated wherein a linearly polarized light beam incident on, e.g., GaAs is split transversely into its spin, that is, right and left circularly polarized, components.  Both electron and photon spin Hall effects involve nanometer displacements of charges or photons but can nonetheless be resolved optically.

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