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Nat Commun. 2012 Jul 17;3:959. doi: 10.1038/ncomms1957.

Dynamic spin polarization by orientation-dependent separation in a ferromagnet-semiconductor hybrid.

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A.F.Ioffe Physical-Technical Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, 194021 St Petersburg, Russia.


Integration of magnetism into semiconductor electronics would facilitate an all-in-one-chip computer. Ferromagnet/bulk semiconductor hybrids have been, so far, mainly considered as key devices to read out the ferromagnetism by means of spin injection. Here we demonstrate that a Mn-based ferromagnetic layer acts as an orientation-dependent separator for carrier spins confined in a semiconductor quantum well that is set apart from the ferromagnet by a barrier only a few nanometers thick. By this spin-separation effect, a non-equilibrium electron-spin polarization is accumulated in the quantum well due to spin-dependent electron transfer to the ferromagnet. The significant advance of this hybrid design is that the excellent optical properties of the quantum well are maintained. This opens up the possibility of optical readout of the ferromagnet's magnetization and control of the non-equilibrium spin polarization in non-magnetic quantum wells.

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