Spin dynamics in narrow-gap semiconductor epitaxial layers

K. L. Litvinenko, L. Nikzad, J. Allam, B. N. Murdin, C. R. Pidgeon, J. J. Harris, L. F. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


We report on investigation of the spin dynamics in InAs and InSb films grown on GaAs at a temperature range from 77 K to 290 K. For both materials, the large lattice mismatch with the GaAs substrate results in the formation of an interface accumulation layer with a large defect concentration, which strongly affects the spin relaxation in these areas. Moreover, the native surface defect in the InAs films resulted in an additional charge accumulation layer with high conductivity, but very short spin lifetime. In contrast, in InSb layers, the surface states introduce a depletion region. We have correlated the spin relaxation with a multi-layer analysis of the transport properties, and find that in a 1 µm thick InAs film, approximately 70% of the total current flows through the interface and surface accumulation layers, which have sub-picosecond lifetimes, whereas in InSb films of the same thickness, the semiconducting layer carries more than 90% of the total current, and the spin lifetime in the accumulation layer is only slightly less than that of the central semiconducting layer. We suggest that InSb could be a more attractive candidate for spintronic applications than InAs. © 2007 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)461-465
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Superconductivity and Novel Magnetism
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2007


  • InAs
  • InSb
  • Spin dynamics
  • Spintronics
  • Transport


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