Abstract:
The length over which electron spins reverse direction due to the Rashba effect when injected with an initial polarization along the axes of a quantum wire is investigated theoretically. A soft wall confinement of the wire renormalizes the spin-orbit parameter (and the effective mass) stronger than hard walls. Electron-electron interactions enhance the Rashba precession while evidence is found that the coupling between transport channels may suppress it.

Abstract:
Rashba precession of spins moving along a one-dimensional quantum channel is calculated, accounting for Coulomb interactions. The Tomonaga--Luttinger model is formulated in the presence of spin-orbit scattering and solved by Bosonization. Increasing interaction strength at decreasing carrier density is found to {\sl enhance} spin precession and the nominal Rashba parameter due to the decreasing spin velocity compared with the Fermi velocity. This result can elucidate the observed pronounced changes of the spin splitting on applied gate voltages which are estimated to influence the interface electric field in heterostructures only little.

Abstract:
The influence of Thomas - Rashba precession on the physics of Kondo tunneling through quantum dots is analyzed. It is shown that this precession is relevant only at finite magnetic fields. Thomas - Rashba precession results in peculiar anisotropy of the effective g-factor and initiates dephasing of the Kondo tunneling amplitude at low temperature, that is strongly dependent on the magnetic field.

Abstract:
The influence of the Rashba spin-orbit coupling on the electron spin dynamics is investigated for a ballistic semiconductor quantum wire with a finite width. We monitor the spin evolution using the time-dependent Schr\"odinger equation. The pure spin precession characteristic of the 1D limit is lost in a 2D wire with a finite lateral width. In general, the time evolution in the latter case is characterized by several frequencies and a nonrigid spin motion.

Abstract:
We investigate intersubband mixing effects in multichannel quantum wires in the presence of Rashba spin-orbit coupling and attached to two terminals. When the contacts are ferromagnetic and their magnetization direction is perpendicular to the Rashba field, the spin-transistor current is expected to depend in a oscillatory way on the Rashba coupling strength due to spin coherent oscillations of the travelling electrons. Nevertheless, we find that the presence of many propagating modes strongly influences the spin precession effect, leading to (i) a quenching of the oscillations and (ii) strongly irregular curves for high values of the Rashba coupling. We also observe that in the case of leads' magnetization parallel to the Rashba field, the conductance departs from a uniform value as the Rashba strength increases. We also discuss the Rashba interaction induced current polarization effects when the contacts are not magnetic and investigate how this mechanism is affected by the presence of several propagating channels.

Abstract:
This article presents an overview of results pertaining to electronic structure, transport properties, and interaction effects in ballistic quantum wires with Rashba spin splitting. Limits of weak and strong spin--orbit coupling are distinguished, and spin properties of the electronic states elucidated. The case of strong Rashba spin splitting where the spin--precession length is comparable to the wire width turns out to be particularly interesting. Hybridization of spin--split quantum--wire subbands leads to an unusual spin structure where the direction of motion for electrons can fix their spin state. This peculiar property has important ramifications for linear transport in the quantum wire, giving rise to spin accumulation without magnetic fields or ferromagnetic contacts. A description for interacting Rashba--split quantum wires is developed, which is based on a generalization of the Tomonaga--Luttinger model.

Abstract:
In a recent Rapid Communication (Phys. Rev. B {\bf 63}, 121210(R) (2001)), Ha\"usler showed that the interaction between electrons in quantum wires may enhance the persistent spin current arising from Rashba spin-orbital coupling. In this Comments, we would like to point out that this 'enhancement' comes from a misunderstanding to the boosting persistent current in the Luttinger liquid theory. A correct calculation will not give such an enhancement of the persistent spin current. Meanwhile, we provide a Luttinger liquid theory with Rashba spin-orbital interaction by bosonization, which may show how the Rashba precession is in a Luttinger liquid.

Abstract:
Electron spin precession in nonuniform Rashba-Dresselhaus two-dimensional electron systems along arbitrary continuous paths is investigated. We derive an analytical formula to describe the spin vectors (expectation values of the injected spin) in such conditions using a contour-integral method. The obtained formalism is capable of dealing with the nonuniformity of the Rashba spin-orbit field due to the inherent random distribution of the ionized dopants, and can be applied to curved one-dimensional quantum wires. Interesting examples are given, and the modification to the spin precession pattern in a Rashba-Dresselhaus channel when taking the random Rashba field into account is shown.

Abstract:
Quasi--one dimensional edge channels are formed at the boundary of a two-dimensional electron system subject to a strong perpendicular magnetic field. We consider the effect of Rashba spin--orbit coupling, induced by structural inversion asymmetry, on their electronic and transport properties. Both our analytical and numerical results show that spin--split quantum--Hall edge channels exhibit properties analogous to that of Rashba--split quantum wires. Suppressed backscattering and a long spin life time render these edge channels an ideal system for observing voltage--controlled spin precession. Based on the latter, we propose a magnet--less spin--dependent electron interferometer.

Abstract:
The spin precession in a cylindrical semiconductor nanowire due to Rashba spin-orbit coupling has been investigated theoretically using an InAs nanowire containing a surface two-dimensional electron gas as a model. The eigenstates, energy-momentum dispersion, and the energy-magnetic field dispersion relation are determined by solving the Schr\"odinger equation in a cylindrical symmetry The combination of states with the same total angular momentum but opposite spin orientation results in a periodic modulation of the axial spin component along the axis of the wire. Spin-precession about the wires axis is achieved by interference of two states with different total angular momentum. Because a superposition state with exact opposite spin precession exists at zero magnetic field, an oscillation of the spin orientation can be obtained. If an axially oriented magnetic field is applied, the spin gains an additional precessing component.