Spin drift and spin diffusion currents in semiconductors
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On the basis of a spin drift-diffusion model, we show how the spin current is composed and find that spin drift and spin diffusion contribute additively to the spin current, where the spin diffusion current decreases with electric field while the spin drift current increases, demonstrating that the extension of the spin diffusion length by a strong field does not result in a significant increase in spin current in semiconductors owing to the competing effect of the electric field on diffusion. We also find that there is a spin drift-diffusion crossover field for a process in which the drift and diffusion contribute equally to the spin current, which suggests a possible method of identifying whether the process for a given electric field is in the spin drift or spin diffusion regime. Spin drift-diffusion crossover fields for GaAs are calculated and are found to be quite small. We derive the relations between intrinsic spin diffusion length and the spin drift-diffusion crossover field of a semiconductor for different electron statistical regimes. The findings resulting from this investigation might be important for semiconductor spintronics.
Science and Technology of Advanced Materials
© 2008 National Institute for Materials Science
Engineering not elsewhere classified