Published online by Cambridge University Press: 01 February 2011
Existing semiconductor electronic and photonic devices utilize the charge on electrons and holes in order to perform their specific functionality such as signal processing or light emission. The relatively new field of semiconductor spintronics seeks, in addition, to exploit the spin of charge carriers in new generations of transistors, lasers and integrated magnetic sensors. The ability to control of spin injection, transport and detection leads to the potential for new classes of ultra-low power, high speed memory, logic and photonic devices. The utility of such devices depends on the availability of materials with practical (>300K) magnetic ordering temperatures. In this paper, we summarize recent progress in dilute magnetic semiconductors such as (Ga,Mn)N, (Ga,Mn)P and (Zn,Mn)O exhibiting room temperature ferromagnetism, the origins of the magnetism and its potential applications in novel devices such as spin-polarized light emitters and spin field effect transistors.
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