Towards all electrical detection of spin accumulation in GaAs in a lateral double barrier device

A.T. Filip, J.J.H.M. Schoonus, C.J.P. Smits, J.T. Kohlhepp, H.J.M. Swagten, B. Koopmans, F. Karouta, W. Roy, van, J. De Boeck

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademic


Herein we discuss our approach to realizing all electrical spin injection and detection in GaAs. We propose a lateral geometry, with two ferromagnetic electrodes crossing an n-doped GaAs channel. AlOx tunnel barriers are to be used in order to overcome the impedance mismatch and different widths of the two electrodes ensure different coercive fields. We present a detailed theoretical analysis of the expected magnetoresistance. Differences in behavior between lateral and vertical devices, the influence of the applied bias (electric field), and opportunities offered by different measurement geometries were explored. The MBE grown wafer consisted of 100 nm Al0.3Ga0.7As, acting as confinement layer, 100 nm n-doped (4 x 1017 cm-3) GaAs, 3 nm n++ GaAs (1021 cm-3), to suppress Schottky barrier formation, and 1.5 nm Al. The Al was oxidized naturally in order to obtain tunnel barriers. By making use of in-situ shadow masks, a 0.1 mm wide channel is defined by covering the rest of the sample by insulating SiO2, followed by deposition of Ta bonding pads. Finally, 500 and 1000 nm wide CoFe electrodes crossing the GaAs channel are obtained by e-beam lithography and sputtering. We show that the I-V characteristics of the CoFe/AlOx/GaAs interface are consistent with tunneling as the main injection mechanism. However, the resistance-area (5 x 109 O µm2) of our barriers is too high compared to the GaAs conductance (50 O square resistance) leading to a strong suppression of magnetoresistance. Further experiments are in progress toward optimizing barrier and channel impedance matching.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication3rd Int. Conf. on Physics and Applications of Spin-related Phenomena in Semiconductors; Santa Barbara,
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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