Spin dependent electron transport in semiconductors due to the Pauli principle

Abstract : This thesis is concerned with transport of photoinjected minority spin-polarized electrons in doped semiconductors, as a function of both the density and the temperature of the injected electron gas. In p-GaAs thin films, charge and spin transport is investigated theoretically and experimentally by using a novel polarized microphotoluminescence (µPL) technique which consists in imaging the spatially-resolved PL intensity and polarization under a tightly-focused circularly-polarized CW laser excitation. Study of the experimental profiles at low concentration and under an applied electric field shows that the minority electron mobility is mainly determined by the electron temperature instead of the majority hole statistics, introducing a puzzling piece to the current understanding of scattering processes in semiconductors. At higher densities, this experimental technique has allowed us to explore a novel charge-spin coupling mechanism which modifies electron transport. Under degeneracy of the electron gas (high concentration, low temperature), a dip at the centre of the spin polarization profile appears with a polarization maximum at a distance of about r= 2 µm from the excitation. This counterintuitive result reveals that photoelectron diffusion depends on spin, as a direct consequence of the Pauli principle which causes in general a concentration dependence of the spin stiffness. This results in a novel spin filter effect in an homogeneous material. The other effects which may modify spin transport in a degenerate electron gas are thermoelectric spin currrents (spin Soret currents) and ambipolar coupling with holes. A comparison of the data with a numerical solution of the coupled diffusion equations reveals that ambipolar diffusion increases the steady-state photo-electron density at the centre and therefore the amplitude of the degeneracy-induced spin-dependent diffusion, while the contribution of the spin Soret current is negligible. Coulomb spin drag and bandgap renormalization are negligible due to electrostatic screening by the hole gas. It is expected for degeneracy to have larger effects in confined systems, such as quantum wells, where both the spin stiffness and the mobility can have a much strong spin dependence.
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Submitted on : Thursday, July 9, 2015 - 2:12:26 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - 4:18:02 PM
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  • HAL Id : tel-01174645, version 1

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Fabian Cadiz. Spin dependent electron transport in semiconductors due to the Pauli principle. Physics [physics]. Ecole Polytechnique, 2015. English. 〈tel-01174645〉

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