Modeling Spin Transport in Helical Fields: Derivation of an Effective Low-Dimensional Hamiltonian
R. Gutiérrez, E. Diaz, C. Gaul, T. Brumme, F. Dominguez-Adame, and G. Cuniberti
J. Phys. Chem. C 117, 22276 (2013)
This study is devoted to a consistent derivation of an effective model Hamiltonian to describe spin transport along a helical pathway and in the presence of spin-orbit interaction, the latter being induced by an external field with helical symmetry. It is found that a sizable spin polarization of an unpolarized incoming state can be obtained without introducing phase breaking processes. For this, at least two energy levels per lattice site in the tight-binding representation are needed. Additionally, asymmetries in the effective electronic-coupling parameters as well as in the spin-orbit interaction strength must be present to achieve net polarization. For a fully symmetric system-in terms of electronic and spin-orbit couplings no spin polarization is found. The model presented is quite general and is expected to be of interest for the treatment of spin-dependent effects in molecular scale systems with helical symmetry.