Europhys. Lett, 37 (2), pp. 127-131 (1997)

Spin-orbit--assisted variable-range hopping in strong magnetic fields

Y. Meir and B. L. Altshuler

Physics Department, Ben Gurion University - Beer Sheva 84105, Israel
NEC Research Institute - 4 Independence Way, Princeton, NJ 08540

(received 7 August 1996; accepted in final form 22 November 1996)

PACS. 72.20My - Galvanomagnetic and other magnetotransport effects.
PACS. 72.20 - Conductivity phenomena in semiconductors and insulators.
PACS. 73.50Jt - Galvanomagnetic and other magnetotransport effects (including thermomagnetic effects).


It is shown that in the presence of strong magnetic fields, spin-orbit scattering causes a sharp increase in the effective density of states in the variable-range hopping regime when temperature decreases. This effect leads to an exponential enhancement of the conductance above its value without spin-orbit scattering. Thus an experimental study of the hopping conductivity in a fixed, large magnetic field, is a sensitive tool to explore the spin-orbit scattering parameters in the strongly localized regime.

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