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EPSRC Reference: EP/C511972/1
Title: Materials Engineering To Optimise The Spin Dependent Transport Between Ferromagnetic Metals and Narrow Gap Semiconductors
Principal Investigator: Cohen, Professor LF
Other Investigators:
McComb, Professor DW Murray, Professor R
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Dr Y Bugoslavsky Professor SK Clowes Dr G Itskos
Dr T Zhang
Project Partners:
IMEC Toshiba
Department: Physics
Organisation: Imperial College London
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 April 2005 Ends: 30 September 2008 Value (£): 610,488
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Materials Characterisation Materials Synthesis & Growth
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
EP/C512006/1 EP/C511980/1 EP/C511999/1
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Spin injection, manipulation and detection are the prime characteristics of any future spintronics device. The single most critical problem that needs to be overcome if hybrid ferromagnetic metal-semiconductor devices are to be used for spintronic device applications, is the efficient transfer of spin between the two systems. The resistance mismatch between metals and semiconductors does not allow the differences in spin population that naturally exist in ferromagnetic metals to be preserved when a current is passed from metal to semiconductor. It has now been well established that to overcome this problem a high resistance interface needs to be engineered between metal and semiconductor. There has been some progress to date in the injection problem with engineered Schttky tunnel contacts. No progress has been made to address the spin detection problem. The aim of the proposal is to engineer the tunnel or Schottky barrier between the ferromagnetic metal and semiconductor to optimise the spin injection and detection efficiencies across the interfaces.In this work we have chosen to use narrow gap semiconductors because they offer particular advantage. One advantage over the GaAs system is the range of lattice matched materials that can be used to create such barrier layer engineering. Other advantages are their much greater potential to manipulate the spin while traversing the semiconductor because of the higher spin orbit coupling, and high room temperature mobilities.. The most efficient spin injection has been from a dilute magnetic semiconductor (DMS) into the AlGaAs/GaAs system where there is no resisitivity mismatch problem. However, the low Curie temperature (Tc) of these materials, (as yet well below room temperature) limit the usefulness of DMS applications. If spintronic devices are to have useful application the problems associated with metal - semiconductor hybrid systems must be overcome. These issues are addressed fully in this proposal.We bring together a consortium of specialists at four Uk universities who have the experience and expertise to establish a UK program in this area. The work will tackle the interface engineering for spin injection (which has already had moderate success in the GaAs/AIGaAs system) and spin detection (which is much less well understood in general). We will establish the best combination of material systems to produce useful spintronic structures for room temperature application.
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Organisation Website: http://www.imperial.ac.uk