Modeling of ferromagnetic semiconductor devices for spintronics

Natalia Lebedeva, Pekka Kuivalainen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We develop physical models for magnetic semiconductor devices, where a part of the device structure consists of a ferromagnetic semiconductor layer. First we calculate the effect of the exchange interaction between the charge carrier spins and the spins of the localized magnetic electrons on the electronic states, recombination processes, and charge transport in ferromagnetic semiconductors such as (Ga,Mn)As. Taking into account, e.g., the splitting of the conduction and valence bands due to the exchange interaction, we model the electrical characteristics of the basic magnetic semiconductor devices such as Schottky diodes consisting of a nonmagnetic metal/ferromagnetic semiconductor interface, pn diodes consisting of a ferromagnetic/nonmagnetic junction and bipolar transistors having a ferromagnetic emitter. The models predict that at temperatures close to the Curie temperature TC the electrical properties of the magnetic semiconductor devices become strongly dependent on the average spin polarization of the magnetic atoms. A feature in the models is that many device parameters such as diffusion lengths or potential barriers become spin dependent in magnetic semiconductor devices. In a ferromagnetic Schottky diode the sensitivity of the device current I to the external magnetic field may be as large as (∂I/∂B)I−1≈1/T at temperatures close to TC. In a ferromagnetic pn diode both the ideal and recombination currents become magnetic field dependent. In a ferromagnetic bipolar transistor the current gain shows the same sensitivity to the spin polarization as the dc current in the ferromagnetic pn diodes. According to our model calculations optimal structures showing the largest magnetization dependence of the electrical characteristics in III–V ferromagnetic semiconductor devices would be those where the magnetic side of the junction is of n type.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9845-9864
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Volume93
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2003
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fingerprint

semiconductor devices
diodes
bipolar transistors
Schottky diodes
junction transistors
sensitivity
polarization
diffusion length
magnetic fields
Curie temperature
charge carriers
conduction bands
emitters
electrical properties
interactions
valence
magnetization
temperature
electronics
metals

Keywords

  • magnetoelectronics
  • exchange interactions (electron)
  • bipolar transistors
  • Schottky diodes
  • ferromagnetic materials
  • magnetic semiconductors
  • p-n junctions
  • Curie temperature
  • local moments

Cite this

Lebedeva, Natalia ; Kuivalainen, Pekka. / Modeling of ferromagnetic semiconductor devices for spintronics. In: Journal of Applied Physics. 2003 ; Vol. 93, No. 12. pp. 9845-9864.
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abstract = "We develop physical models for magnetic semiconductor devices, where a part of the device structure consists of a ferromagnetic semiconductor layer. First we calculate the effect of the exchange interaction between the charge carrier spins and the spins of the localized magnetic electrons on the electronic states, recombination processes, and charge transport in ferromagnetic semiconductors such as (Ga,Mn)As. Taking into account, e.g., the splitting of the conduction and valence bands due to the exchange interaction, we model the electrical characteristics of the basic magnetic semiconductor devices such as Schottky diodes consisting of a nonmagnetic metal/ferromagnetic semiconductor interface, pn diodes consisting of a ferromagnetic/nonmagnetic junction and bipolar transistors having a ferromagnetic emitter. The models predict that at temperatures close to the Curie temperature TC the electrical properties of the magnetic semiconductor devices become strongly dependent on the average spin polarization of the magnetic atoms. A feature in the models is that many device parameters such as diffusion lengths or potential barriers become spin dependent in magnetic semiconductor devices. In a ferromagnetic Schottky diode the sensitivity of the device current I to the external magnetic field may be as large as (∂I/∂B)I−1≈1/T at temperatures close to TC. In a ferromagnetic pn diode both the ideal and recombination currents become magnetic field dependent. In a ferromagnetic bipolar transistor the current gain shows the same sensitivity to the spin polarization as the dc current in the ferromagnetic pn diodes. According to our model calculations optimal structures showing the largest magnetization dependence of the electrical characteristics in III–V ferromagnetic semiconductor devices would be those where the magnetic side of the junction is of n type.",
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Modeling of ferromagnetic semiconductor devices for spintronics. / Lebedeva, Natalia; Kuivalainen, Pekka.

In: Journal of Applied Physics, Vol. 93, No. 12, 2003, p. 9845-9864.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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AU - Kuivalainen, Pekka

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N2 - We develop physical models for magnetic semiconductor devices, where a part of the device structure consists of a ferromagnetic semiconductor layer. First we calculate the effect of the exchange interaction between the charge carrier spins and the spins of the localized magnetic electrons on the electronic states, recombination processes, and charge transport in ferromagnetic semiconductors such as (Ga,Mn)As. Taking into account, e.g., the splitting of the conduction and valence bands due to the exchange interaction, we model the electrical characteristics of the basic magnetic semiconductor devices such as Schottky diodes consisting of a nonmagnetic metal/ferromagnetic semiconductor interface, pn diodes consisting of a ferromagnetic/nonmagnetic junction and bipolar transistors having a ferromagnetic emitter. The models predict that at temperatures close to the Curie temperature TC the electrical properties of the magnetic semiconductor devices become strongly dependent on the average spin polarization of the magnetic atoms. A feature in the models is that many device parameters such as diffusion lengths or potential barriers become spin dependent in magnetic semiconductor devices. In a ferromagnetic Schottky diode the sensitivity of the device current I to the external magnetic field may be as large as (∂I/∂B)I−1≈1/T at temperatures close to TC. In a ferromagnetic pn diode both the ideal and recombination currents become magnetic field dependent. In a ferromagnetic bipolar transistor the current gain shows the same sensitivity to the spin polarization as the dc current in the ferromagnetic pn diodes. According to our model calculations optimal structures showing the largest magnetization dependence of the electrical characteristics in III–V ferromagnetic semiconductor devices would be those where the magnetic side of the junction is of n type.

AB - We develop physical models for magnetic semiconductor devices, where a part of the device structure consists of a ferromagnetic semiconductor layer. First we calculate the effect of the exchange interaction between the charge carrier spins and the spins of the localized magnetic electrons on the electronic states, recombination processes, and charge transport in ferromagnetic semiconductors such as (Ga,Mn)As. Taking into account, e.g., the splitting of the conduction and valence bands due to the exchange interaction, we model the electrical characteristics of the basic magnetic semiconductor devices such as Schottky diodes consisting of a nonmagnetic metal/ferromagnetic semiconductor interface, pn diodes consisting of a ferromagnetic/nonmagnetic junction and bipolar transistors having a ferromagnetic emitter. The models predict that at temperatures close to the Curie temperature TC the electrical properties of the magnetic semiconductor devices become strongly dependent on the average spin polarization of the magnetic atoms. A feature in the models is that many device parameters such as diffusion lengths or potential barriers become spin dependent in magnetic semiconductor devices. In a ferromagnetic Schottky diode the sensitivity of the device current I to the external magnetic field may be as large as (∂I/∂B)I−1≈1/T at temperatures close to TC. In a ferromagnetic pn diode both the ideal and recombination currents become magnetic field dependent. In a ferromagnetic bipolar transistor the current gain shows the same sensitivity to the spin polarization as the dc current in the ferromagnetic pn diodes. According to our model calculations optimal structures showing the largest magnetization dependence of the electrical characteristics in III–V ferromagnetic semiconductor devices would be those where the magnetic side of the junction is of n type.

KW - magnetoelectronics

KW - exchange interactions (electron)

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KW - p-n junctions

KW - Curie temperature

KW - local moments

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