University of Minnesota
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Paul Crowell

Bias-controlled sensitivity of ferromagnet/semiconductor electrical spin detectors
S. A. Crooker, E. S. Garlid, A. N. Chantis, D. L. Smith, K. S. M. Reddy, Q. O. Hu, T. Kondo, C. J. Palmstrøm, and P. A. Crowell, Physical Review B 80 041305(R) (2009)

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Using Fe/GaAs Schottky tunnel barriers as electrical spin detectors, we show that the magnitude and the sign of their spin-detection sensitivities can be widely tuned with the voltage bias applied across the Fe/GaAs interface. Experiments and theory establish that this tunability derives not just simply from the bias dependence of the tunneling conductances G[up-arrow],[down-arrow] (a property of the interface), but also from the bias dependence of electric fields in the semiconductor which can dramatically enhance or suppress spin-detection sensitivities. Electrons in GaAs with fixed polarization can therefore be made to induce either positive or negative voltage changes at spin detectors, and some detector sensitivities can be enhanced over tenfold compared to the usual case of zero-bias spin detection.