Determination of interface atomic structure and its impact on spin transport using Z-contrast microscopy and density-functional theory

Thomas J. Zega, Aubrey T. Hanbicki, Steven C. Erwin, Igor Žutić, George Kioseoglou, Connie H. Li, Berend T. Jonker, Rhonda M. Stroud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

68 Scopus citations

Abstract

We combine Z-contrast scanning transmission electron microscopy with density-functional-theory calculations to determine the atomic structure of the Fe/AlGaAs interface in spin-polarized light-emitting diodes. A 44% increase in spin-injection efficiency occurs after a low-temperature anneal, which produces an ordered, coherent interface consisting of a single atomic plane of alternating Fe and As atoms. First-principles transport calculations indicate that the increase in spin-injection efficiency is due to the abruptness and coherency of the annealed interface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number196101
JournalPhysical review letters
Volume96
Issue number19
DOIs
StatePublished - May 22 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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