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Chapter 22:
Spin-Orbit Engineering of Semiconductor Heterostructures
Spin transport and dynamics is one of the crucial issues of spintronics, regardless of whether the system of interest is magnetic or nonmagnetic: semiconductors are of special interest because in such systems the charge carrier dynamics can be accurately treated through single-particle approximation, making use of the precise knowledge of wavefunctions. Here the single-electron, possibly spin-dependent wavefunction is well suited to provide reliable fully quantum mechanical models, or to derive semiclassical theoretical models, which eventually can be extended to other kinds of systems. In this context transport operators play a key role and, in particular, the probability current is a fundamental concept in quantum mechanics, which connects the wave-like description of a quasi-particle to the notion of transport current.
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