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Title: Observation of the inverse spin Hall effect in ZnO thin films: An all-electrical approach to spin injection and detection

The inverse spin Hall effect (ISHE) is a newly discovered, quantum mechanical phenomenon where an applied spin current results in the generation of an electrical voltage in the transverse direction. It is anticipated that the ISHE can provide a more simple way of measuring spin currents in spintronic devices. The ISHE was first observed in noble metals that exhibit strong spin-orbit coupling. However, recently, the ISHE has been detected in conventional semiconductors (such as Si and Ge), which possess weak spin-orbit coupling. This suggests that large-spin orbit coupling is not a requirement for observing the ISHE. In this paper, we are reporting the observation of the ISHE in an alternative semiconductor material, zinc oxide (ZnO) using all-electrical means. In our study, we found that when a spin-polarized current is injected into the ZnO film from a NiFe ferromagnetic injector via an MgO tunnel barrier layer, a voltage transverse to both the direction of the current as well as its spin-polarization is generated in the ZnO layer. The polarity of this voltage signal was found to flip on reversing the direction of the injected current as well as on reversing the polarization of the current, consistent with the predictions of themore » ISHE process. Through careful analysis of the ISHE data, we determined a spin-Hall angle of approximately 1.651 × 10{sup −2} for ZnO, which is two orders of magnitude higher than that of silicon. Observation of a detectable room-temperature ISHE signal in ZnO via electrical injection and detection is a groundbreaking step that opens a path towards achieving transparent spin detectors for next-generation spintronic device technology.« less
Authors:
;  [1]
  1. Nanostructured Materials Research Laboratory, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22258623
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Applied Physics Letters; Journal Volume: 104; Journal Issue: 12; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; HALL EFFECT; L-S COUPLING; MAGNESIUM OXIDES; SEMICONDUCTOR MATERIALS; SPIN; TEMPERATURE RANGE 0273-0400 K; THIN FILMS; ZINC OXIDES