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Proceedings Paper

Injection of spin current in semiconductor nanostructures by infrared optical processes
Author(s): E. Ya. Sherman; Ali Najmaie; J. E. Sipe
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Paper Abstract

A controllable delivery of spins in nanodevices is required for applications in spintronics technologies. A pure spin current, in which oppositely oriented spins move in opposite directions, is a phenomenon that could be used for this purpose. Various optical techniques can efficiently excite such spin currents in bulk semiconductors and nanostructures. We here propose and analyze two new optical infrared-light techniques for the injection of a pure spin current in nanostructures. The techniques are based on the intersubband light absorption (one-photon process) and stimulated Raman scattering (two-photon process). The infrared light absorption deposits approximately 100 meV for each absorption event associated with current injection. In the spin-flip Raman process which is possible due to spin-orbit (SO) coupling, the corresponding energy transfer to the system, is on the order of 1 meV. The stimulated Raman process depends on the electron momentum, and therefore, electrons with different spins can be launched in different directions. The infrared-injected pure spin currents can be engineered by changing the Rashba spin-orbit coupling using an external bias across the quantum well. The injected spin current should be detectable by pump-probe optical spectroscopy, and thus points the way toward the design of full-optical write-and-read spintronics devices.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 October 2005
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 5971, Photonic Applications in Nonlinear Optics, Nanophotonics, and Microwave Photonics, 597119 (3 October 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.629696
Show Author Affiliations
E. Ya. Sherman, Univ. of Toronto (Canada)
Ali Najmaie, Univ. of Toronto (Canada)
J. E. Sipe, Univ. of Toronto (Canada)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5971:
Photonic Applications in Nonlinear Optics, Nanophotonics, and Microwave Photonics
Roberto A. Morandotti; Harry E. Ruda; Jianping Yao, Editor(s)

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