Physical Review Letters

Current-Controlled Spin Precession of Quasistationary Electrons in a Cubic Spin-Orbit Field

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Space- and time-resolved measurements of spin drift and diffusion are performed on a GaAs-hosted two-dimensional electron gas. For spins where forward drift is compensated by backward diffusion, we find a precession frequency in the absence of an external magnetic field. The frequency depends linearly on the drift velocity and is explained by the cubic Dresselhaus spin-orbit interaction, for which drift leads to a spin precession angle twice that of spins that diffuse the same distance.