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      Electronic spin transport and spin precession in single graphene layers at room temperature

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          Abstract

          The specific band structure of graphene, with its unique valley structure and Dirac neutrality point separating hole states from electron states has led to the observation of new electronic transport phenomena such as anomalously quantized Hall effects, absence of weak localization and the existence of a minimum conductivity. In addition to dissipative transport also supercurrent transport has already been observed. It has also been suggested that graphene might be a promising material for spintronics and related applications, such as the realization of spin qubits, due to the low intrinsic spin orbit interaction, as well as the low hyperfine interaction of the electron spins with the carbon nuclei. As a first step in the direction of graphene spintronics and spin qubits we report the observation of spin transport, as well as Larmor spin precession over micrometer long distances using single graphene layer based field effect transistors. The non-local spin valve geometry was used, employing four terminal contact geometries with ferromagnetic cobalt electrodes, which make contact to the graphene sheet through a thin oxide layer. We observe clear bipolar (changing from positive to negative sign) spin signals which reflect the magnetization direction of all 4 electrodes, indicating that spin coherence extends underneath all 4 contacts. No significant changes in the spin signals occur between 4.2K, 77K and room temperature. From Hanle type spin precession measurements we extract a spin relaxation length between 1.5 and 2 micron at room temperature, only weakly dependent on charge density, which is varied from n~0 at the Dirac neutrality point to n = 3.6 10^16/m^2. The spin polarization of the ferromagnetic contacts is calculated from the measurements to be around 10%.

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          Most cited references 6

          • Record: found
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          Basic obstacle for electrical spin-injection from a ferromagnetic metal into a diffusive semiconductor

          We have calculated the spin-polarization effects of a current in a two dimensional electron gas which is contacted by two ferromagnetic metals. In the purely diffusive regime, the current may indeed be spin-polarized. However, for a typical device geometry the degree of spin-polarization of the current is limited to less than 0.1%, only. The change in device resistance for parallel and antiparallel magnetization of the contacts is up to quadratically smaller, and will thus be difficult to detect.
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            Conditions for efficient spin injection from a ferromagnetic metal into a semiconductor

             A Fert,  H Jaffrès (2001)
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              Theory of electrical spin injection: Tunnel contacts as a solution of the conductivity mismatch problem

               E. I. Rashba (2000)
              Theory of electrical spin injection from a ferromagnetic (FM) metal into a normal (N) conductor is presented. We show that tunnel contacts (T) can dramatically increase spin injection and solve the problem of the mismatch in the conductivities of a FM metal and a semiconductor microstructure. We also present explicit expressions for the spin-valve resistance of FM-T-N- and FM-T-N-T-FM-junctions with tunnel contacts at the interfaces and show that the resistance includes both positive and negative contributions (Kapitza resistance and injection conductivity, respectively).
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                13 June 2007
                0706.1948 10.1038/nature06037
                Custom metadata
                Nature 448,571-574 (2007)
                cond-mat.mes-hall

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