Field-induced negative differential spin lifetime in silicon

Jing Li, Lan Qing, Hanan Dery, Ian Appelbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


We show that the electric-field-induced thermal asymmetry between the electron and lattice systems in pure silicon substantially impacts the identity of the dominant spin relaxation mechanism. Comparison of empirical results from long-distance spin transport devices with detailed Monte Carlo simulations confirms a strong spin depolarization beyond what is expected from the standard Elliott-Yafet theory even at low temperatures. The enhanced spin-flip mechanism is attributed to phonon emission processes during which electrons are scattered between conduction band valleys that reside on different crystal axes. This leads to anomalous behavior, where (beyond a critical field) reduction of the transit time between spin-injector and spin-detector is accompanied by a counterintuitive reduction in spin polarization and an apparent negative spin lifetime.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number157201
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number15
StatePublished - Apr 9 2012
Externally publishedYes


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