Wednesday, June 26, 2013

1306.5847 (N. Nishizawa et al.)

Efficient spin injection through a crystalline AlOx tunnel barrier
prepared by the oxidation of an ultra-thin Al epitaxial layer on GaAs

N. Nishizawa, H. Munekata
We report that an ultra-thin, post-oxidized aluminum epilayer grown on the AlGaAs surface works as a high-quality tunnel barrier for spin injection from a ferromagnetic metal to a semiconductor. One of the key points of the present oxidation method is the formation of the crystalline AlOx template layer without oxidizing the AlGaAs region near the Al/AlGaAs interface. The oxidized Al layer is not amorphous but show well-defined single crystalline feature reminiscent of the spinel gamma-AlOx phase. A spin-LED consisting of an Fe layer, a crystalline AlOx barrier layer, and an AlGaAs-InGaAs double hetero-structure has exhibited circularly polarized electroluminescence with circular polarization of P_{EL} = 0.145 at the remnant magnetization state of the Fe layer, indicating the relatively high spin injection efficiency (epsilon = 2P_{EL} / P_{Fe}) of 0.63.
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