Ever since its discovery, the electron spin has only been measured or manipulated through the application of an electromagnetic force acting on the associated magnetic moment. In this work, we propose a spin Aharonov-Bohm effect in which the electron spin is controlled by a magnetic flux while no electromagnetic field is acting on the electron. Such a nonlocal spin manipulation is realized in an Aharonov-Bohm ring made from the recently discovered quantum spin Hall insulator, by taking advantage of the defining property of the quantum spin Hall edge states: the one-to-one correspondence between spin polarization and direction of propagation. The proposed setup can be used to realize a new spintronics device, the topological spin transistor, in which the spin rotation is completely controlled by a magnetic flux of hc/2e, independently of the details of the sample.
|Journal||Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics|
|State||Published - 4 Nov 2010|