Article abstract

Nature Materials 6, 882 - 887 (2007)
Published online: 16 September 2007 | doi:10.1038/nmat2012

Subject Categories: Electronic materials | Semiconductors | Magnetic materials

Epitaxial integration of the highly spin-polarized ferromagnetic semiconductor EuO with silicon and GaN

Andreas Schmehl1,2, Venu Vaithyanathan1, Alexander Herrnberger2, Stefan Thiel2, Christoph Richter2, Marco Liberati3, Tassilo Heeg4, Martin Röckerath4, Lena Fitting Kourkoutis5, Sebastian Mühlbauer6,7, Peter Böni6, David A. Muller5, Yuri Barash8, Jürgen Schubert4, Yves Idzerda3, Jochen Mannhart2 & Darrell G. Schlom1

Doped EuO is an attractive material for the fabrication of proof-of-concept spintronic devices. Yet for decades its use has been hindered by its instability in air and the difficulty of preparing and patterning high-quality thin films. Here, we establish EuO as the pre-eminent material for the direct integration of a carrier-concentration-matched half-metal with the long-spin-lifetime semiconductors silicon and GaN, using methods that transcend these difficulties. Andreev reflection measurements reveal that the spin polarization in doped epitaxial EuO films exceeds 90%, demonstrating that EuO is a half-metal even when highly doped. Furthermore, EuO is epitaxially integrated with silicon and GaN. These results demonstrate the high potential of EuO for spintronic devices.

  1. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802-5005, USA
  2. Experimentalphysik VI, Elektronische Korrelationen und Magnetismus, Institut für Physik, Universität Augsburg, Augsburg D-86135, Germany
  3. Department of Physics, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana 59717, USA
  4. Institut für Bio- und Nanosysteme IBN1-IT, and Center of Nanoelectronic Systems for Information Technology, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Jülich 52425, Germany
  5. School of Applied and Engineering Physics, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA
  6. Technische Universität München, Physik Department E21, Garching 85748, Germany
  7. Forschungsneutronenquelle Heinz Maier-Leibnitz (FRM II), Garching 85748, Germany
  8. Institute of Solid State Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Chernogolovka 142432, Russia

Correspondence to: Darrell G. Schlom1 e-mail:


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