Hot electron injection into uniaxially strained silicon
Kim, Hyun Soo
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In semiconductor spintronics, silicon attracts great attention due to the long electron spin lifetime. Silicon is also one of the most commonly used semiconductor in microelectronics industry. The spin relaxation process of diamond crystal structure such as silicon is dominant by Elliot-Yafet mechanism. Yafet shows that intravalley scattering process is dominant. The conduction electron spin lifetime measured by electron spin resonance measurement and electronic measurement using ballistic hot electron method well agrees with Yafet's theory. However, the recent theory predicts a strong contribution of intervalley scattering process such as f-process in silicon. The conduction band minimum is close the Brillouin zone edge, X point which causes strong spin mixing at the conduction band. A recent experiment of electric field-induced hot electron spin relaxation also shows the strong effect of f-process in silicon. In uniaxially strained silicon along crystal axis , the suppression of f-process is predicted which leads to enhance electron spin lifetime. By inducing a change in crystal structure due to uniaxial strain, the six fold degeneracy becomes two fold degeneracy, which is valley splitting. As the valley splitting increases, intervalley scattering is reduced. A recent theory predicts 4 times longer electron spin lifetime in 0.5% uniaxially strained silicon. In this thesis, we demonstrate ballistic hot electron injection into silicon under various uniaxial strain. Spin polarized hot electron injection under strain is experimentally one of the most challenging part to measure conduction electron spin lifetime in silicon. Hot electron injection adopts tunnel junction which is a thin oxide layer between two conducting materials. Tunnel barrier, which is an oxide layer, is only 4 ∼ 5 nm thick. Also, two conducting materials are only tens of nanometer. Therefore, under high pressure to apply 0.5% strain on silicon, thin films on silicon substrate can be easily destroyed. In order to confirm the performance of tunnel junction, we use tunnel magnetoresistance(TMR). TMR consists of two kinds of ferromagnetic materials and an oxide layer as tunnel barrier in order to measure spin valve effect. Using silicon as a collector with Schottky barrier interface between metal and silicon, ballistic hot spin polarized electron injection into silicon is demonstrated. We also observed change of coercive field and magnetoresistance due to modification of local states in ferromagnetic materials and surface states at the interface between metal and silicon due to strain.