Electrically tunable spin injector free from the impedance mismatch problem

Nat Mater. 2011 Jun 26;10(9):655-9. doi: 10.1038/nmat3052.


Injection of spin currents into solids is crucial for exploring spin physics and spintronics. There has been significant progress in recent years in spin injection into high-resistivity materials, for example, semiconductors and organic materials, which uses tunnel barriers to circumvent the impedance mismatch problem; the impedance mismatch between ferromagnetic metals and high-resistivity materials drastically limits the spin-injection efficiency. However, because of this problem, there is no route for spin injection into these materials through low-resistivity interfaces, that is, Ohmic contacts, even though this promises an easy and versatile pathway for spin injection without the need for growing high-quality tunnel barriers. Here we show experimental evidence that spin pumping enables spin injection free from this condition; room-temperature spin injection into GaAs from Ni(81)Fe(19) through an Ohmic contact is demonstrated through dynamical spin exchange. Furthermore, we demonstrate that this exchange can be controlled electrically by applying a bias voltage across a Ni(81)Fe(19)/GaAs interface, enabling electric tuning of the spin-pumping efficiency.

Publication types

  • Letter