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Long-range pd exchange interaction in a ferromagnet–semiconductor hybrid structure

Nature Physics volume 12, pages 8591 (2016) | Download Citation


Hybrid structures synthesized from different materials have attracted considerable attention because they may allow not only combination of the functionalities of the individual constituents but also mutual control of their properties. To obtain such a control an interaction between the components needs to be established. For coupling the magnetic properties, an exchange interaction has to be implemented which typically depends on wavefunction overlap and is therefore short-ranged, so that it may be compromised across the hybrid interface. Here we study a hybrid structure consisting of a ferromagnetic Co layer and a semiconducting CdTe quantum well, separated by a thin (Cd, Mg)Te barrier. In contrast to the expected pd exchange that decreases exponentially with the wavefunction overlap of quantum well holes and magnetic atoms, we find a long-ranged, robust coupling that does not vary with barrier width up to more than 30 nm. We suggest that the resulting spin polarization of acceptor-bound holes is induced by an effective pd exchange that is mediated by elliptically polarized phonons.

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The authors thank B. Glavin and A. Scherbakov for discussions. We acknowledge support by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and Russian Foundation for Basic Research in the frame of the ICRC TRR 160, the Government of Russia via project N14.Z50.31.0021, and the Program of Russian Academy of Sciences. V.L.K. acknowledges support of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft within the Gerhard Mercator professorship programme. The work in Poland was partially supported by the Polish National Science Center under grant numbers DEC-2012/06/A/ST3/00247 and DEC-2014/14/M/ST3/00484. T.W. also acknowledges support from the Foundation for Polish Science through the International Outgoing Scholarship 2014.

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  1. Ioffe Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, 194021 St Petersburg, Russia

    • V. L. Korenev
    • , I. A. Akimov
    • , V. F. Sapega
    • , I. V. Kalitukha
    • , R. I. Dzhioev
    • , D. R. Yakovlev
    • , Yu. G. Kusrayev
    •  & M. Bayer
  2. Experimentelle Physik 2, Technische Universität Dortmund, D-44227 Dortmund, Germany

    • V. L. Korenev
    • , M. Salewski
    • , I. A. Akimov
    • , L. Langer
    • , J. Debus
    • , D. R. Yakovlev
    • , D. Müller
    •  & M. Bayer
  3. Physical Faculty of St Petersburg State University, 198504 St Petersburg, Russia

    • V. F. Sapega
  4. Experimentelle Physik 1, Facultät Physik/DELTA, Technische Universität Dortmund, D-44227 Dortmund, Germany

    • C. Schröder
    •  & H. Hövel
  5. Institute of Physics, Polish Academy of Sciences, PL-02668 Warsaw, Poland

    • G. Karczewski
    • , M. Wiater
    •  & T. Wojtowicz


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V.L.K., M.S., I.A.A., V.F.S., L.L., I.V.K., J.D., R.I.D. and D.M. performed the experiments and analysed the data. V.L.K. developed the theoretical model. C.S. and H.H. performed AFM measurements. G.K., M.W. and T.W. fabricated the samples. V.L.K., I.A.A., D.R.Y., Yu.G.K, and M.B. co-wrote the paper. All authors discussed the results and commented on the manuscript.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to V. L. Korenev or I. A. Akimov.

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