Silicon spintronics with ferromagnetic tunnel devices
Review article, 2012

In silicon spintronics, the unique qualities of ferromagnetic materials are combined with those of silicon, aiming at creating an alternative, energy-efficient information technology in which digital data are represented by the orientation of the electron spin. Here we review the cornerstones of silicon spintronics, namely the creation, detection and manipulation of spin polarization in silicon. Ferromagnetic tunnel contacts are the key elements and provide a robust and viable approach to induce and probe spins in silicon, at room temperature. We describe the basic physics of spin tunneling into silicon, the spin-transport devices, the materials aspects and engineering of the magnetic tunnel contacts, and discuss important quantities such as the magnitude of the spin accumulation and the spin lifetime in the silicon. We highlight key experimental achievements and recent progress in the development of a spin-based information technology.

doped silicon




electrical spin-injection

fm/si/fm junction





metal/tunnel barrier contact


R. Jansen

National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST)

Saroj Prasad Dash

Chalmers, Microtechnology and Nanoscience (MC2), Quantum Device Physics

S. Sharma

National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST)

University of Groningen

B. C. Min

Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KITECH)

Semiconductor Science and Technology

0268-1242 (ISSN) 1361-6641 (eISSN)

Vol. 27 8

Subject Categories

Physical Sciences



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