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Orthogonal Cherenkov sound in spin-orbit coupled systems.


ABSTRACT: Conventionally the Cherenkov sound is governed by orbital degrees of freedom and is excited by supersonic particles. Additionally, it usually has a forward nature with a conic geometry known as the Cherenkov cone whose axis is oriented along the supersonic particle motion. Here we predict Cherenkov sound of a unique nature entirely resulting from the electronic spin degree of freedom and demonstrate a fundamentally distinct Cherenkov effect originating from essentially subsonic electrons in two-dimensional gases with both Bychkov-Rashba and Dresselhaus spin-orbit interactions. Specifically, we show that the axis of the conventional forward Cherenkov cone gets a nontrivial quarter-turn and at the same time the sound distribution strongly localizes around this rotated axis being now orthogonal to the subsonic particle motion. Apart from its fundamentally appealing nature, the orthogonal Cherenkov sound could have applications in planar semiconductor technology combining spin and acoustic phenomena to develop, e.g., acoustic amplifiers or sound sources with a flexible spin dependent orientation of the sound propagation.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4470327 | BioStudies | 2015-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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