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Electric field induced spin-polarized current

United States Patent

May 2, 2006
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
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A device and a method for generating an electric-field-induced spin current are disclosed. A highly spin-polarized electric current is generated using a semiconductor structure and an applied electric field across the semiconductor structure. The semiconductor structure can be a hole-doped semiconductor having finite or zero bandgap or an undoped semiconductor of zero bandgap. In one embodiment, a device for injecting spin-polarized current into a current output terminal includes a semiconductor structure including first and second electrodes, along a first axis, receiving an applied electric field and a third electrode, along a direction perpendicular to the first axis, providing the spin-polarized current. The semiconductor structure includes a semiconductor material whose spin orbit coupling energy is greater than room temperature (300 Kelvin) times the Boltzmann constant. In one embodiment, the semiconductor structure is a hole-doped semiconductor structure, such as a p-type GaAs semiconductor layer.
Murakami; Shuichi (Yokohama, JP), Nagaosa; Naoto (Tokyo, JP), Zhang; Shoucheng (Stanford, CA)
The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University (Stanford, CA)
10/ 746,050
December 24, 2003
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT SPONSORED RESEARCH The present invention was made with support from the National Science Foundation under grant no. DMR-9814289 and with support from the US Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, under contract DE-AC03-76SF00515. The US Government has certain rights in the invention.