Optical pumping in ferromagnet-semiconductor heterostructures: Magneto-optics and spin transport

A. F. Isakovic, D. M. Carr, J. Strand, B. D. Schultz, C. J. Palmstrøm, P. A. Crowell

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Epitaxial ferromagnetic metal-semiconductor heterostructures are investigated using polarization-dependent electroabsorption measurements on GaAs p-type and n-type Schottky diodes with embedded In1-xGaxAs quantum wells. We have conducted studies as a function of photon energy, bias voltage, magnetic field, and excitation geometry. For optical pumping with circularly polarized light at energies above the band edge of GaAs, photocurrents with spin polarizations on the order of 1% flow from the semiconductor to the ferromagnet under reverse-bias. For optical pumping at normal incidence, this polarization may be enhanced significantly by resonant excitation at the quantum well ground state. Measurements in a side-pumping geometry, in which the ferromagnet can be saturated in very low magnetic fields, show hysteresis that is also consistent with spin-dependent transport. Magneto-optical effects that influence these measurements are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number161304
Pages (from-to)1613041-1613044
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number16
StatePublished - Sep 28 2001


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