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Spin-dependent electron transport in ferromagnet/semiconductor Schottky barrier structures

  • Atsufumi Hirohata (a1), Yong-Bing Xu (a1), Christian M. Guertler (a1), J. Anthony (a1), C. Bland (a1) and Stuart N. Holmes (a2)...

Abstract

Clear evidence for high efficiency spin-polarized electron transport across ferromagnet/semiconductor Schottky barrier interfaces was observed in Ni80Fe20/GaAs structures. Circularly polarized light was used to excite electrons with a spin polarization perpendicular to the film plane. At negative bias, an almost constant difference between the helicity-dependent photocurrent obtained for the magnetization parallel and perpendicular to the photon helicity was detected. An effective asymmetry, A, was also estimated from the helicity-dependent photocurrent difference, attributed to spin-polarized electron tunneling from GaAs to NiFe (spin filtering). A decreases with increasing photon energy, which is consistent with the energy-dependence of the asymmetry of photoexcited electrons in GaAs. Weak spin injection from NiFe to GaAs was seen at a bias corresponding to the Schottky barrier height, which is likely to occur via a ballistic process.

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