Abstract:
Extending a previous work on spin precession in GaAs/AlGaAs quantum dots with spin-orbit coupling, we study the role of deformation in the external confinement. Small elliptical deformations are enough to alter the precessional characteristics at low magnetic fields. We obtain approximate expressions for the modified $g$ factor including weak Rashba and Dresselhaus spin-orbit terms. For more intense couplings numerical calculations are performed. We also study the influence of the magnetic field orientation on the spin splitting and the related anisotropy of the $g$ factor. Using realistic spin-orbit strengths our model calculations can reproduce the experimental spin-splittings reported by Hanson et al. (cond-mat/0303139) for a one-electron dot. For dots containing more electrons, Coulomb interaction effects are estimated within the local-spin-density approximation, showing that many features of the non-iteracting system are qualitatively preserved.

Abstract:
The electronic spin precession in semiconductor dots is strongly affected by the spin-orbit coupling. We present a theory of the electronic spin resonance at low magnetic fields that predicts a strong dependence on the dot occupation, the magnetic field and the spin-orbit coupling strength. Coulomb interaction effects are also taken into account in a numerical approach.

Abstract:
We study spin precession due to Rashba spin splitting of electrons and holes in semiconductor quantum wells. Based on a simple analytical expression that we derive for the current modulation in a broad class of experimental situations of ferromagnet/nonmagnetic semiconductor/ferromagnet hybrid structures, we conclude that the Datta-Das spin transistor (i) is feasible with holes and (ii) its functionality is not affected by integration over injection angles. The current modulation shows a universal oscillation period, irrespective of the different forms of the Rashba Hamiltonian for electrons and holes. The analytic formulas approximate extremely well exact numerical calculations of a more elaborate Kohn--Luttinger model.

Abstract:
We demonstrate that non-equilibrium electrons in thin nonmagnetic semiconductor layers or quantum dots can be fully spin polarized by means of simultaneous electrical spin injection and extraction. The complete spin polarization is achieved if the thin layers or quantum dots are placed between two ferromagnetic metal contacts with moderate spin injection coefficients and antiparallel magnetizations. The sign of the spin polarization is determined by the direction of the current. Aplications of this effect in spintronics and quantum information processing are discussed.

Abstract:
We perform time-dependent simulations of spin exchange for an electron pair in laterally coupled quantum dots. The calculation is based on configuration interaction scheme accounting for spin-orbit (SO) coupling and electron-electron interaction in a numerically exact way. Noninteracting electrons exchange orientations of their spins in a manner that can be understood by interdot tunneling associated with spin precession in an effective SO magnetic field that results in anisotropy of the spin swap. The Coulomb interaction blocks the electron transfer between the dots but the spin transfer and spin precession due to SO coupling is still observed. The electron-electron interaction additionally induces an appearance of spin components in the direction of the effective SO magnetic field which are opposite in both dots. Simulations indicate that the isotropy of the spin swap is restored for equal Dresselhaus and Rashba constants and properly oriented dots.

Abstract:
We observe a low-lying sharp spin mode of three interacting electrons in an array of nanofabricated AlGaAs/GaAs quantum dots by means of resonant inelastic light scattering. The finding is enabled by a suppression of the inhomogeneous contribution to the excitation spectra obtained by reducing the number of optically-probed quantum dots. Supported by configuration-interaction calculations we argue that the observed spin mode offers a direct probe of Stoner ferromagnetism in the simplest case of three interacting spin one-half fermions.

Abstract:
We study the transport of spin polarized electrons in n-GaAs using spatially resolved continuous wave Faraday rotation. From the measured steady state distribution, we determine spin relaxation times under drift conditions and, in the presence of strain, the induced spin splitting from the observed spin precession. Controlled variation of strain along [110] allows us to deduce the deformation potential causing this effect, while strain along [100] has no effect. The electric field dependence of the spin lifetime is explained quantitatively in terms of an increase of the electron temperature.

Abstract:
The shot noise of spin polarized electrons is shown to be generically dependent upon spin-flip processes. Such a situation represents perhaps the simplest instance where the two-particle character of current fluctuations out of equilibrium is explicit, leading to trinomial statistics of charge transfer in a single channel model. We calculate the effect of spin-orbit coupling, magnetic impurities, and precession in an external magnetic field on the noise in the experimentally relevant cases of diffusive wires and lateral semiconductor dots, finding dramatic enhancements of the Fano factor. The possibility of using the shot noise to measure the spin-relaxation time in an open mesoscopic system is raised.

Abstract:
We investigate the spin dynamics of high-mobility two-dimensional electrons in GaAs/AlGaAs quantum wells grown along the $[001]$ and $[110]$ directions by time-resolved Faraday rotation at low temperatures. In measurements on the $(001)$-grown structures without external magnetic fields, we observe coherent oscillations of the electron spin polarization about the effective spin-orbit field. In non-quantizing magnetic fields applied normal to the sample plane, the cyclotron motion of the electrons rotates the effective spin-orbit field. This rotation leads to fast oscillations in the spin polarization about a non-zero value and a strong increase in the spin dephasing time in our experiments. These two effects are absent in the $(110)$-grown structure due to the different symmetry of its effective spin-orbit field. The measurements are in excellent agreement with our theoretical model.

Abstract:
We consider the motion of electrons through a mesoscopic ring in the presence of spin-orbit interaction, Zeeman coupling, and magnetic flux. The coupling between the spin and the orbital degrees of freedom results in the geometric and the dynamical phases associated with a cyclic evolution of spin state. Using a non-adiabatic Aharonov-Anandan phase approach, we obtain the exact solution of the system and identify the geometric and the dynamical phases for the energy eigenstates. Spin precession of electrons encircling the ring can lead to various interference phenomena such as oscillating persistent current and conductance. We investigate the transport properties of the ring connected to current leads to explore the roles of the time-reversal symmetry and its breaking therein with the spin degree of freedom being fully taken into account. We derive an exact expression for the transmission probability through the ring. We point out that the time-reversal symmetry breaking due to Zeeman coupling can totally invalidate the picture that spin precession results in effective, spin-dependent Aharonov-Bohm flux for interfering electrons. Actually, such a picture is only valid in the Aharonov-Casher effect induced by spin-orbit interaction only. Unfortunately, this point has not been realized in prior works on the transmission probability in the presence of both SO interaction and Zeeman coupling. We carry out numerical computation to illustrate the joint effects of spin-orbit interaction, Zeeman coupling and magnetic flux. By examining the resonant tunneling of electrons in the weak coupling limit, we establish a connection between the observable time-reversal symmetry breaking effects manifested by the persistent current and by the transmission probability. For a ring formed by two-dimensional electron gas, we