April 27, 2015 at 10:01 am

Physics Grad Student Publishes on Symmetry-Breaking Effects on Spin and Electronic Transport in Graphene’

Mahmoud Asmar

Mahmoud Asmar

Ohio University Physics doctoral student Mahmoud Asmar published an article on “Symmetry-breaking effects on spin and electronic transport in graphene” on April 10 in Physical Review B.

His co-author and adviser is Dr. Sergio Ulloa, Professor of Physics & Astronomy.

Abstract: The decoration of graphene samples with adatoms or nanoparticles leads to the enhancement of spin-orbit interactions as well as to the introduction of symmetry-breaking effects that could have drastic effects on spin and electronic transport phenomena. We present an analysis based on symmetry considerations and examine the impact on the scattering matrix for graphene systems containing defects that enhance spin-orbit interactions, while conserving the electronic total angular momentum. We show that the appearance and dominance of skew scattering, and the related observation of valley and/or spin Hall effect in decorated graphene samples, suggests the set of symmetries that adatom perturbations should satisfy. We further show that detailed measurements of the transport and elastic times as a function of carrier concentration make it possible to not only extract the strength of the spin-orbit interaction, as suggested before, but also obtain the amplitude of the symmetry-breaking terms introduced. To examine how different terms would affect measurements, we also present calculations for typical random distributions of impurities with different perturbations, illustrating the detailed energy dependence of different observables.

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