Spin dephasing due to a random Berry phase

Pablo San-Jose, Gerd Schön, Alexander Shnirman, Gergely Zarand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


We investigate relaxation and dephasing of an electron spin confined in a semiconductor quantum dot and subject to spin-orbit coupling. Even in vanishing magnetic field, B = 0, slow noise coupling to the electron's orbital degree of freedom leads to dephasing of the spin due to a random, in general non-Abelian Berry phase acquired by the spin. For illustration we first present a simple quasiclassical description, then consider a model with two orbital states only, and finally present a perturbative quantum treatment appropriate for an electron in a realistic (roughly parabolic, not too strongly confining) quantum dot. We further compare the effect of different sources of noise. While at large magnetic fields phonons dominate the relaxation processes, at low fields electron-hole excitations and possibly 1 / f noise may dominate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-83
Number of pages8
JournalPhysica E: Low-Dimensional Systems and Nanostructures
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2007



  • Geometrical phases
  • Spin relaxation
  • Spin-orbit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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