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Spin-phonon relaxation from a universal ab initio density-matrix approach.

  • Author(s): Xu, Junqing;
  • Habib, Adela;
  • Kumar, Sushant;
  • Wu, Feng;
  • Sundararaman, Ravishankar;
  • Ping, Yuan
  • et al.
Abstract

Designing new quantum materials with long-lived electron spin states urgently requires a general theoretical formalism and computational technique to reliably predict intrinsic spin relaxation times. We present a new, accurate and universal first-principles methodology based on Lindbladian dynamics of density matrices to calculate spin-phonon relaxation time of solids with arbitrary spin mixing and crystal symmetry. This method describes contributions of Elliott-Yafet and D'yakonov-Perel' mechanisms to spin relaxation for systems with and without inversion symmetry on an equal footing. We show that intrinsic spin and momentum relaxation times both decrease with increasing temperature; however, for the D'yakonov-Perel' mechanism, spin relaxation time varies inversely with extrinsic scattering time. We predict large anisotropy of spin lifetime in transition metal dichalcogenides. The excellent agreement with experiments for a broad range of materials underscores the predictive capability of our method for properties critical to quantum information science.

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