Spin Transport in Self Assembled All-Metal Nanowire Spin Valves: A Study of the Pure Elliott-Yafet Mechanism

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We report experimental study of spin transport in all metal nanowire spin valve structures. The nanowires have a diameter of 50 nm and consist of three layers—cobalt, copper, and nickel. Based on the experimental observations, we determine that the primary spin relaxation mechanism in the paramagnet layer—copper—is the Elliott-Yafet mode associated with elastic scattering caused by charged states on the surface of the nanowires. This mode is overwhelmingly dominant over all other modes, so that we are able to study the pure Elliott-Yafet mechanism in isolation. We deduce that the spin diffusion length associated with this mechanism is about 16 nm in our nanowires and is fairly temperature independent in the range 1–100 K, which is consistent with the spin relaxation being associated with elastic scattering by surface states. The corresponding spin relaxation time is about 100 femtoseconds. We also find that the spin relaxation rate is fairly independent of the electric field driving the current in the field range 0.3–3 kV/cm.


Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1166/jnn.2006.360

Publication date: July 1, 2006

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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