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Geometrical enhancement of low-field magnetoresistance in silicon

Inhomogeneity-induced magnetoresistance (IMR) reported in some non-magnetic semiconductors, particularly silicon, has generated considerable interest owing to the large magnitude of the effect and its linear field dependence (albeit at high magnetic fields). Various theories implicate spatial variat... Full description

Journal Title: Nature 2011, Vol.477(7364), p.304
Main Author: Caihua Wan
Other Authors: Xiaozhong Zhang , Xili Gao , Jimin Wang , Xinyu Tan
Format: Electronic Article Electronic Article
Language:
Subjects:
ID: ISSN: 0028-0836 ; E-ISSN: 1476-4687 ; DOI: 10.1038/nature10375
Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature10375
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recordid: nature_a10.1038/nature10375
title: Geometrical enhancement of low-field magnetoresistance in silicon
format: Article
creator:
  • Caihua Wan
  • Xiaozhong Zhang
  • Xili Gao
  • Jimin Wang
  • Xinyu Tan
subjects:
  • Magnetic Fields
  • Silicon Wafers
  • Electrodes
  • Geometry
ispartof: Nature, 2011, Vol.477(7364), p.304
description: Inhomogeneity-induced magnetoresistance (IMR) reported in some non-magnetic semiconductors, particularly silicon, has generated considerable interest owing to the large magnitude of the effect and its linear field dependence (albeit at high magnetic fields). Various theories implicate spatial variation of the carrier mobility as being responsible for IMR. Here we show that IMR in lightly doped silicon can be significantly enhanced through hole injection, and then tuned by an applied current to arise at low magnetic fields. In our devices, the 'inhomogeneity' is provided by the p-n boundary formed between regions where conduction is dominated by the minority and majority charge carriers (holes and electrons) respectively; application of a magnetic field distorts the current in the boundary region, resulting in large magnetoresistance. Because this is an intrinsically spatial effect, the geometry of the device can be used to enhance IMR further: we designed an IMR device whose room-temperature field sensitivity at low fields was greatly improved, with magnetoresistance reaching 10% at 0.07 T and 100% at 0.2 T, approaching the performance of commercial giant-magnetoresistance devices. The combination of high sensitivity to low magnetic fields and large highfield response should make this device concept attractive to the magnetic-field sensing industry. Moreover, because our device is based on a conventional silicon platform, it should be possible to integrate it with existing silicon devices and so aid the development of silicon-based magnetoelectronics. [PUBLICATION ]
language:
source:
identifier: ISSN: 0028-0836 ; E-ISSN: 1476-4687 ; DOI: 10.1038/nature10375
fulltext: fulltext
issn:
  • 0028-0836
  • 00280836
  • 1476-4687
  • 14764687
url: Link


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titleGeometrical enhancement of low-field magnetoresistance in silicon
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descriptionInhomogeneity-induced magnetoresistance (IMR) reported in some non-magnetic semiconductors, particularly silicon, has generated considerable interest owing to the large magnitude of the effect and its linear field dependence (albeit at high magnetic fields). Various theories implicate spatial variation of the carrier mobility as being responsible for IMR. Here we show that IMR in lightly doped silicon can be significantly enhanced through hole injection, and then tuned by an applied current to arise at low magnetic fields. In our devices, the 'inhomogeneity' is provided by the p-n boundary formed between regions where conduction is dominated by the minority and majority charge carriers (holes and electrons) respectively; application of a magnetic field distorts the current in the boundary region, resulting in large magnetoresistance. Because this is an intrinsically spatial effect, the geometry of the device can be used to enhance IMR further: we designed an IMR device whose room-temperature field sensitivity at low fields was greatly improved, with magnetoresistance reaching 10% at 0.07 T and 100% at 0.2 T, approaching the performance of commercial giant-magnetoresistance devices. The combination of high sensitivity to low magnetic fields and large highfield response should make this device concept attractive to the magnetic-field sensing industry. Moreover, because our device is based on a conventional silicon platform, it should be possible to integrate it with existing silicon devices and so aid the development of silicon-based magnetoelectronics. [PUBLICATION ]
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