New experiments demonstrate the potential for diamond as a material for spintronics
Conventional electronics rely on controlling electric charge. Recently, researchers have been exploring the potential for a new technology, called spintronics, that relies on detecting and controlling a particle's spin. This technology could lead to new types of more efficient and powerful devices.
In a paper published in Applied Physics Letters, from AIP Publishing, researchers measured how strongly a charge carrier's spin interacts with a magnetic field in diamond. This crucial property shows diamond as a promising material for spintronic devices.
Diamond is attractive because it would be easier to process and fabricate into spintronic devices than typical semiconductor materials, said Golrokh Akhgar, a physicist at La Trobe University in Australia. Conventional quantum devices are based on multiple thin layers of semiconductors, which require an elaborate fabrication process in an ultrahigh vacuum.
"Diamond is normally an extremely good insulator," Akhgar said. But, when exposed to hydrogen plasma, the diamond incorporates hydrogen atoms into its surface. When a hydrogenated diamond is introduced to moist air, it becomes electrically conductive because a thin layer of water forms on its surface, pulling electrons from the diamond. The missing electrons at the diamond surface behave like positively charged particles, called holes, making the surface conductive.
Researchers found that these holes have many of the right properties for spintronics. The most important property is a relativistic effect called spin-orbit coupling, where the spin of a charge carrier interacts with its orbital motion. A strong coupling enables researchers to control the particle's spin with an electric field.
In previous work, the researchers measured how strongly a hole's spin-orbit coupling could be engineered with an electric field. They also showed that an external electric field could tune the strength of the coupling.
In recent experiments, the researchers measured how strongly a hole's spin interacts with a magnetic field. For this measurement, the researchers applied constant magnetic fields of different strengths parallel to the diamond surface at temperatures below 4 Kelvin. They also simultaneously applied a steadily varying perpendicular field. By monitoring how the electrical resistance of the diamond changed, they determined the g-factor. This quantity could help researchers control spin in future devices using a magnetic field.
"The coupling strength of carrier spins to electric and magnetic fields lies at the heart of spintronics," Akhgar said. "We now have the two crucial parameters for the manipulation of spins in the conductive surface layer of diamond by either electric or magnetic fields."
Additionally, diamond is transparent, so it can be incorporated into optical devices that operate with visible or ultraviolet light. Nitrogen-vacancy diamonds -- which contain nitrogen atoms paired with missing carbon atoms in its crystal structure -- show promise as a quantum bit, or qubit, the basis for quantum information technology. Being able to manipulate spin and use it as a qubit could lead to yet more devices with untapped potential, Akhgar said.
The article, "G-factor and well width variations for the two-dimensional hole gas in surface conducting diamond," is authored by Golrokh Akhgar, Daniel L. Creedon, Alastair Stacey, David Hoxley, Jeffrey C. McCallum, Lothar Ley, Alex R. Hamilton and Chris Pakes. The article appeared in Applied Physics Letters Jan. 23, 2018 (DOI: 10.1063/1.5010800) and can be accessed at http://aip.
ABOUT THE JOURNAL
Applied Physics Letters features concise, rapid reports on significant new findings in applied physics. The journal covers new experimental and theoretical research on applications of physics phenomena related to all branches of science, engineering, and modern technology. See http://apl.
Julia Majors | EurekAlert!
First diode for magnetic fields
21.11.2018 | Universität Innsbruck
When AI and optoelectronics meet: Researchers take control of light properties
20.11.2018 | Institut national de la recherche scientifique - INRS
Max Planck researchers revel the nano-structure of molecular trains and the reason for smooth transport in cellular antennas.
Moving around, sensing the extracellular environment, and signaling to other cells are important for a cell to function properly. Responsible for those tasks...
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.
Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
19.11.2018 | Event News
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
21.11.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
20.11.2018 | Life Sciences
20.11.2018 | Life Sciences