Spin echo decay at low magnetic fields in a nuclear spin bath

TitleSpin echo decay at low magnetic fields in a nuclear spin bath
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsCywinski L, Dobrovitski VV, Das Sarma S
Journal TitlePhysical Review B
Date Published7/23
ISBN Number1098-0121
Accession NumberISI:000280230100006
Keywordsdecoherence, electron spins, quantum dots

We investigate theoretically the spin echo signal of an electron localized in a quantum dot and interacting with a bath of nuclear spins. We consider the regime of very low magnetic fields (corresponding to fields as low as a militesla in realistic GaAs and InGaAs dots). We use both the exact numerical simulations and the analytical theory employing the effective pure dephasing Hamiltonian. The comparison shows that the latter approach describes very well the spin echo decay at magnetic fields larger than the typical Overhauser field, and that the time scale at which this theory works is larger than previously expected. The numerical simulations are also done for very low values of electron spin splitting at which the effective Hamiltonian based theory fails quantitatively. Interestingly, the qualitative difference in the spin echo decay between the cases of a homonuclear and a heteronuclear bath (i.e., bath containing nuclear isotopes having different Zeeman energies), predicted previously using the effective Hamiltonian approach, is still visible at very low fields outside the regime of applicability of the analytical theory. We have found that the spin echo signal for a homonuclear bath oscillates with a frequency corresponding to the Zeeman splitting of the single nuclear isotope present in the bath. The physics behind this feature is similar to that of the electron spin echo envelope modulation. While purely isotropic hyperfine interactions are present in our system, the tilting of the electron precession axis at low fields may explain this result.

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