Proposal for an ac spin current source

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We propose an ac current source that can be tuned from a pure charge to a pure spin current source. The device consists of two mesoscopic capacitors attached to a two-dimensional strip of a topological insulator. The change from charge to spin current is controlled by an offset in the top gate potentials that drive the capacitors. In addition to this setup, which anticipates the experimental realisation of quantum point contacts in topological insulators, we propose an analogous source in the quantum Hall regime which only relies on presently available building blocks. To this end, we calculate the band structure of a topological insulator in a magnetic field. The intrinsic spin-orbit coupling, together with a split gate, allows for an analogous source, where charge and spin current can be manipulated. The realisation of the device as well as the detection of the ac spin current are within reach of the present experimental technology.


External organisations
  • University of Geneva
  • CSIC Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Madrid (ICMM)
Original languageEnglish
Article number27003
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jul 1
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes