Wigner crystal of a two-dimensional electron gas with a strong spin-orbit interaction

P. G. Silvestrov, O. Entin-Wohlman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Wigner-crystal phase of two-dimensional electrons interacting via the Coulomb repulsion and subject to a strong Rashba spin-orbit coupling is investigated. For low enough electronic densities the spin-orbit band splitting can be larger than the zero-point energy of the lattice vibrations. Then the degeneracy of the lower subband results in a spontaneous symmetry breaking of the vibrational ground state. The 60° rotational symmetry of the triangular (spin-orbit coupling free) structure is lost, and the unit cell of the new lattice contains two electrons. Breaking the rotational symmetry also leads to a (slight) squeezing of the underlying triangular lattice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number155103
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Volume89
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 Apr 2014

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