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Spin transistor based on the spin-filter effect and a non-volatile memory using spin transistors

Foreign code F110005375
File No. K02003US
Posted date Sep 5, 2011
Country United States of America
Application number 52224103
Gazette No. 20060043443
Gazette No. 7423327
Date of filing Jul 25, 2003
Gazette Date Mar 2, 2006
Gazette Date Sep 9, 2008
International application number JP2003009438
International publication number WO2004012272
Date of international filing Jul 25, 2003
Date of international publication Feb 5, 2004
Priority data
  • P2002-217336 (Jul 25, 2002) JP
  • P2003-086145 (Mar 26, 2003) JP
  • 2003WO-JP09438 (Jul 25, 2003) WO
Title Spin transistor based on the spin-filter effect and a non-volatile memory using spin transistors
Abstract (US7423327)
A spin transistor comprises a spin injector for injecting, from a first nonmagnetic electrode carriers with a spin parallel to a spin band forming the band edge of a first ferromagnetic barrier layer, to a second nonmagnetic electrode layer, as hot carriers.
It also comprises a spin analyzer whereby, due to spin-splitting at the band edge of a second ferromagnetic barrier layer, the spin-polarized hot carriers are transported to a third nonmagnetic electrode when the direction of the spin of the carriers injected into the second nonmagnetic electrode is parallel to that of the spin of the spin band at the band edge of the second ferromagnetic barrier layer, whereas the hot carriers are not transported to the third nonmagnetic electrode in the case of antiparallel spin.
A memory element is also provided that comprises such a spin transistor.
Scope of claims [claim1]
1. A transistor, comprising: a spin injector for injecting spin-polarized hot carriers by a spin-filter effect, the spin injector including an emitter;
a spin analyzer for selecting the thus injected spin-polarized hot carriers by the spin-filter effect, the spin analyzer including a collector;
and
a second nonmagnetic electrode layer having a thickness such that the carriers injected from the spin injector pass through said second nonmagnetic electrode layer as hot carriers, one end surface of said second nonmagnetic electrode layer being joined to one end surface of said spin injector, and the other end surface of said second nonmagnetic electrode layer being joined to one end surface of said spin analyzer,wherein said spin injector comprises: a first ferromagnetic barrier layer having a thickness that allows the carriers to be transported by tunneling upon application of a voltage across said first ferromagnetic barrier layer and having a band edge that is higher than a band edge of said second nonmagnetic electrode layer, one end surface of said first ferromagnetic barrier layer being joined to said one end surface of said second nonmagnetic electrode layer;
and
a first nonmagnetic electrode layer joined to the other end surface of said first ferromagnetic barrier layer.
[claim2]
2. The transistor according to claim 1, wherein said spin analyzer comprises: a second ferromagnetic barrier layer, one end of second ferromagnetic barrier layer being joined to said the other end surface of said second nonmagnetic electrode layer;
and;
a third nonmagnetic electrode layer joined to the other end surface of said second ferromagnetic barrier layer.
[claim3]
3. The transistor according to claim 2, wherein said first and second ferromagnetic barrier layers comprise a ferromagnetic semiconductor or a ferromagnetic insulator.
[claim4]
4. The transistor according to claim 1, wherein the thickness of said second nonmagnetic electrode layer is smaller than the mean free path of the spin-polarized hot carriers in said second nonmagnetic electrode layer.
[claim5]
5. The transistor according to claim 1, wherein the spin-filter effect of said spin injector takes advantage of the fact that, in a carrier tunneling effect in said first ferromagnetic barrier layer which is produced through the application of a voltage to said first nonmagnetic electrode layer and to said second nonmagnetic electrode layer, those of the carriers that exist in said first nonmagnetic electrode layer and that have a spin direction parallel to a spin band at the band edge of said first ferromagnetic barrier layer have a large tunneling probability, while those carriers with an antiparallel spin direction have a small tunneling probability.
[claim6]
6. The transistor according to claim 1, wherein the spin-filter effect of said spin analyzer takes advantage of the fact that, when the spin direction of the spin-polarized hot carriers injected from said spin injector is parallel to that of the spin band at the band edge of said second ferromagnetic barrier layer, said spin-polarized hot carriers are transported through the spin band at the band edge of said second ferromagnetic barrier layer and reach said third nonmagnetic electrode layer, whereas when the spin direction of said spin-polarized hot carriers is antiparallel to that of the spin band at the band edge of said second ferromagnetic barrier layer, said spin-polarized hot carriers are unable to reach said third nonmagnetic electrode layer.
[claim7]
7. The transistor according to claim 1, wherein a first voltage is applied between said first nonmagnetic electrode layer and said second nonmagnetic electrode layer from a first power supply, and a second voltage is applied between said second nonmagnetic electrode layer and said third nonmagnetic electrode layer or between said first nonmagnetic electrode layer and said third nonmagnetic electrode layer, from a second power supply, and wherein said spin-polarized hot carriers injected from said first nonmagnetic electrode layer to said second nonmagnetic electrode layer are switched to a current through said second ferromagnetic barrier layer and said second power supply or a current through said second nonmagnetic electrode layer and said first power supply depending on the relative magnetization configuration of said first ferromagnetic barrier layer and said second ferromagnetic barrier layer.
[claim8]
8. The transistor according to claim 7, wherein said first voltage is applied such that the energy of the injected spin-polarized hot carriers becomes larger than the spin band edge energy at the band edge of the said second ferromagnetic barrier layer and smaller than the energy of the spin band edge to which the spin-split width is added.
[claim9]
9. The transistor according to claim 8, wherein the relative magnetization configuration in said first ferromagnetic barrier layer or said second ferromagnetic barrier layer can be reversed with the application of a magnetic field.
[claim10]
10. A memory circuit comprising a memory cell formed by a transistor including a spin injector for injecting spin-polarized hot carriers by a spin-filter effect, the spin injector including an emitter;a spin analyzer for selecting the thus injected spin-polarized hot carriers by the spin-filter effect, the spin analyzer including a collector;
and
and a second nonmagnetic electrode layer having a thickness such that the carriers injected from the spin injector pass through said second nonmagnetic electrode layer as hot carriers, one end surface of said second nonmagnetic electrode layer being joined to one end surface of said spin injector, and the other end surface of said second nonmagnetic electrode layer being joined to one end surface of said spin analyzer.wherein said spin injector comprises:a first ferromagnetic barrier layer having a thickness that allows the carriers to be transported by tunneling upon application of a voltage across said first ferromagnetic barrier layer and having a band edge that is higher than a band edge of said second nonmagnetic electrode layer, one end surface of said first ferromagnetic barrier layer being joined to said one end surface of said second nonmagnetic electrode layer;
and
a first nonmagnetic electrode layer joined to the other end surface of said first ferromagnetic baffler layer.
[claim11]
11. The memory circuit according to claim 10, wherein said spin analyzer comprises: a second ferromagnetic barrier layer, one end of said second ferromagnetic barrier layer being joined to said the other end surface of said second nonmagnetic electrode layer;anda third nonmagnetic electrode layer joined to the other end surface of said second ferromagnetic barrier layer.
[claim12]
12. The memory circuit according to claim 11, wherein said second nonmagnetic electrode layer of said transistor is connected to a wordline, said third nonmagnetic electrode layer of said transistor is connected to a bitline, said bitline is connected to a power supply via a load, and said first nonmagnetic electrode layer of said transistor is connected to ground.
[claim13]
13. The memory circuit according to claim 11, wherein said first and second ferromagnetic barrier layers comprise a ferromagnetic semiconductor or a ferromagnetic insulator.
[claim14]
14. The memory circuit according to claim 10, wherein the thickness of said second nonmagnetic electrode layer is smaller than the mean free path of the spin-polarized hot carriers in said second nonmagnetic electrode layer.
[claim15]
15. The memory circuit according to claim 10, wherein the spin-filter effect of said spin injector takes advantage of the fact that, in a carrier tunneling effect in said first ferromagnetic barrier layer which is produced through the application of a voltage to said first nonmagnetic electrode layer and to said second nonmagnetic electrode layer, those of the carriers that exist in said first nonmagnetic electrode layer and that have a spin direction parallel to a spin band at the band edge of said first ferromagnetic barrier layer have a large tunneling probability, while those carriers with an antiparallel spin direction have a small tunneling probability.
[claim16]
16. The memory circuit according to claim 10, wherein the spin-filter effect of said spin analyzer takes advantage of the fact that, when the spin direction of the spin-polarized hot carriers injected from said spin injector is parallel to that of the spin band at the band edge of said second ferromagnetic barrier layer, said spin-polarized hot carriers are transported through the spin band at the band edge of said second ferromagnetic barrier layer and reach said third nonmagnetic electrode layer, whereas when the spin direction of said spin-polarized hot carriers is antiparallel to that of the spin band at the band edge of said second ferromagnetic barrier layer, said spin-polarized hot carriers are unable to reach said third nonmagnetic electrode layer.
[claim17]
17. The memory circuit according to claim 10, wherein a first voltage is applied between said first nonmagnetic electrode layer and said second nonmagnetic electrode layer from a first power supply, and a second voltage is applied between said second nonmagnetic electrode layer and said third nonmagnetic electrode layer or between said first nonmagnetic electrode layer and said third nonmagnetic electrode layer, from a second power supply, and wherein said spin-polarized hot carriers injected from said first nonmagnetic electrode layer to said second nonmagnetic electrode layer are switched to a current through said second ferromagnetic barrier layer and said second power supply or a current through said second nonmagnetic electrode layer and said first power supply depending on the relative magnetization configuration of said first ferromagnetic barrier layer and said second ferromagnetic barrier layer.
[claim18]
18. The memory circuit according to claim 17, wherein said first voltage is applied such that the energy of the injected spin-polarized hot carriers becomes larger than the spin band edge energy at the band edge of the said second ferromagnetic barrier layer and smaller than the energy of the spin band edge to which the spin-split width is added.
[claim19]
19. The memory circuit according to claim 18, wherein the relative magnetization configuration in said first ferromagnetic barrier layer or said second ferromagnetic barrier layer can be reversed with the application of a magnetic field.
  • Inventor, and Inventor/Applicant
  • SUGAHARA SATOSHI
  • TANAKA MASAAKI
  • JAPAN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY AGENCY
IPC(International Patent Classification)
Reference ( R and D project ) PRESTO Nanostructure and Material Property AREA
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