Spin transport in semiconductors between magnetic source and drain

Albert Fert 1M. Elsen 1J-M. George 1H. Jaffrès 1R. Mattana 1F. Nguyen Van Dau 1B. Lépine 2A. Guivarch 2G. Jezequel 2

1. Unité Mixte de Physique CNRS/Thales associée à l'Université Paris-Sud, Domaine de Corbeville, Orsay 91404, France
2. Unité PALMS, Université Rennes I, Rennes F34042, France


The structure including a semiconductor channel between spin-polarized metallic source and drain is at the basis of several concepts of spin transistor. The operation of this type of device requires a spin polarized current be injected into the semiconductor and the resulting spin accumulation be transformed into a significant electrical output signal (say that ΔI/I must be of the order of unity if ΔI is the current change between two magnetic configurations of the device). For spin injection, a large enough and spin dependent interface resistance (tunnel junction for example) must be introduced between the source (and the drain) and the semiconductor. On the other hand, as we will show, a significant electrical signal (say ΔI/I =~ 1) can be obtained only if the interface resistances are not too high, which gives a well defined window for the choice of the interface resistance. Having a distance between source and drain shorter than the spin diffusion length is necessary but not at al sufficient.
An illustration of the above conditions is given by our experiments of spin injection into GaAs, particularly by what we find for the variation of the output signal as a function of the tunnel resistances at the source/GaAs and GaAs/drain interfaces.


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Presentation: invited oral at E-MRS Fall Meeting 2005, Symposium D, by Albert Fert
See On-line Journal of E-MRS Fall Meeting 2005

Submitted: 2005-07-01 07:06
Revised:   2009-06-07 00:44