Dynamic Nuclear Polarization in III–V Semiconductors

Published: Saturday, 11 December 2010 - 00:59 UTC


G. Kaur and G. Denninger, Dynamic Nuclear Polarization in III-V Semiconductors, Appl. Magn. Reson., 2010, 39(1-2), 185-204


We report on electron spin resonance, nuclear magnetic resonance and Overhauser shift experiments on two of the most commonly used III–V semiconductors, GaAs and InP. Localized electron centers in these semiconductors have extended wavefunctions and exhibit strong electron–nuclear hyperfine coupling with the nuclei in their vicinity. These interactions not only play a critical role in electron and nuclear spin relaxation mechanisms, but also result in transfer of spin polarization from the electron spin system to the nuclear spin system.

This transfer of polarization, known as dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP), may result in an enhancement of the nuclear spin polarization by several orders of magnitude under suitable conditions. We determine the critical range of doping concentration and temperature conducive to DNP effects by studying these semiconductors with varying doping concentration in a wide temperature range. We show that the electron spin system in undoped InP exhibits electric current-induced spin polarization. This is consistent with model predictions in zinc-blende semiconductors with strong spin–orbit effects.