Spin-polarized currents in corrugated graphene nanoribbons
We investigate the production of spin-polarized currents in corrugated graphene nanoribbons. Such corrugations are modeled as multiple regions with Rashba spin-orbit interactions, where concave and convex curvatures are treated as Rashba regions with opposite signs. Numerical examples for different separated Rashba-zone geometries calculated within the tight-binding approximation are provided. Remarkably, the spin-polarized current in a system with several Rashba areas can be enhanced with respect to the case with a single Rashba part of the same total area. The enhancement is larger for configurations with multiple regions with the same Rashba sign. This indicates that the increase of the spin polarization is due to the scattering of the electrons traversing regions with and without Rashba interaction. Additionally, we relate the appearance of the spin-polarized currents to novel symmetry relations between the spin-dependent conductances. These symmetries turn out to be a combination of different symmetry operations in real and spin spaces, as those occurring in non-planar systems like carbon nanotubes. Our results show that two-dimensional devices with Rashba spin-orbit interaction can be used as excellent spintronic devices in an all-electrical or mechanical setup.
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