Article

Unconventional Fermi surface spin textures in the Bi_ {x} Pb_ {1− x}/Ag (111) surface alloy

Physical review. B, Condensed matter (Impact Factor: 3.77). 01/2009; 79(24). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.79.241408
Source: arXiv

ABSTRACT The Fermi and Rashba energies of surface states in the BixPb1−x/Ag(111) alloy can be tuned simultaneously by changing the composition parameter x. We report on unconventional Fermi surface spin textures observed by spin and angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy that are correlated with a topological transition of the Fermi surface occurring at x=0.5. We show that the surface states remain fully spin polarized upon alloying and that the spin-polarization vectors are approximately tangential to the constant energy contours. We discuss the implications of the topological transition for the transport of spin.

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    ABSTRACT: Using spin and angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy we investigate a momentum region in Pb quantum well states on Si(111) where hybridization between Rashba-split bands alters the band structure significantly. Starting from the Rashba regime where the dispersion of the quasi-free two-dimensional electron gas is well described by two spin-polarized parabolas, we find a breakdown of the Rashba behavior which manifests itself (i) in a spin splitting that is no longer proportional to the in-plane momentum and (ii) in a reversal of the sign of the momentum splitting. Our experimental findings are well explained by including interband spin-orbit coupling that mixes Rashba-split states with anti-parallel rather than parallel spins. Similar results for Pb/Cu(111) reveal that the proposed hybridization scenario is independent on the supporting substrate.
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