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The motion of an electron and its spin are generally not coupled. However in a one-dimensional material with strong spin-orbit interaction (SOI) a helical state may emerge at finite magnetic fields, where electrons of opposite spin will have opposite momentum. The existence of this helical state has applications for spin filtering and cooper pair splitter devices and is an essential ingredient for realizing topologically protected quantum computing using Majorana zero modes. Here, we report measurements of a quantum point contact in an indium antimonide nanowire. At magnetic fields exceeding 3 T, the 2 e2/h conductance plateau shows a re-entrant feature toward 1 e2/h which increases linearly in width with magnetic field. Rotating the magnetic field clearly attributes this experimental signature to SOI and by comparing our observations with a numerical model we extract a spin-orbit energy of approximately 6.5 meV, which is stronger than the spin-orbit energy obtained by other methods.
Original languageEnglish
Article number478
Number of pages6
JournalNature Communications
Volume8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sep 2017

    Research areas

  • Electronic properties and materials, Nanowires, Spintronics

ID: 29220733