Spin-Transistor Action via Tunable Landau-Zener Transitions

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Science  20 Jul 2012:
Vol. 337, Issue 6092, pp. 324-327
DOI: 10.1126/science.1221350

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Spin-transistor designs relying on spin-orbit interaction suffer from low signal levels resulting from low spin-injection efficiency and fast spin decay. Here, we present an alternative approach in which spin information is protected by propagating this information adiabatically. We demonstrate the validity of our approach in a cadmium manganese telluride diluted magnetic semiconductor quantum well structure in which efficient spin transport is observed over device distances of 50 micrometers. The device is turned “off” by introducing diabatic Landau-Zener transitions that lead to a backscattering of spins, which are controlled by a combination of a helical and a homogeneous magnetic field. In contrast to other spin-transistor designs, we find that our concept is tolerant against disorder.

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