The quantum dynamics of the electron's spin and orbital angular momenta in semiconductor quantum rings is analyzed. Both Rashba and Dresselhaus spin-orbit interactions (SOIs) in their quasi-two-dimensional forms are taken into account. The narrow quantum rings are treated with models including one and two radial modes. We find that when either Rashba or Dresselhaus SOI acts alone, the different angular momentum states are coupled in blocks of two (for a single radial mode) or four (for two radial modes). We also show that the full Hilbert space splits into two disjoint subspaces, which are not coupled by either of the two SOIs, thereby decoupling accordingly the state evolution. When both SOI mechanisms are present, in principle infinitely many states are coupled, but we find by numerical computation of the quantum dynamics that for typical evolution times in practice only a few neighboring states are involved in the dynamics. Thus the exchange of angular momenta proceeds only via very few states. Furthermore, we find a trend that when initially high orbital momenta are prepared, the time evolution of spin and orbital momenta is almost unaffected by the availability of a second radial mode, in sharp contrast to the case of preparing the system in low orbital angular momentum states. The implications of our findings for the coherent control of angular momentum in quantum rings are pointed out.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics