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Doped Magnetic ZnO p-n Junction Heterostructures for Nano-Spintronic Devices


Semiconductor materials form the basis of modern electronics, communication, data storage and computing technologies. One of today’s major challenges for the development of future technologies is the realization of devices that control not only the electron charge, as in present electronics, but also its spin, setting the basis for future spintronics. Spintronics represents the concept of the synergetic and multifunctional use of charge and spin dynamics of electrons, aiming to go beyond the traditional dichotomy of semiconductor electronics and magnetic storage technology. The most direct method to induce spin-polarized electrons into a semiconductor is by introducing appropriate transition metal dopants producing a dilute magnetic semiconductor (DMS). The seamless integration of future spintronic architectures into nanodevices would require the fabrication 1-D DMS nanostructures in well defined architectures. In this project we propose to use a simple low-cost, low-temperature electrodeposition process to not only synthesise and characterise ZnO based bipolar DMS nanowire heterostructures but, even more importantly, fabricate an array of p-n and n-p-n junctions which could lead to novel nano-spintronic devices within ordered pre-defined nano-architectures. We will study the structural and functional properties of these heterostructures, which could have applications such as spin polarised LED and spin polarised bipolar junction transistor. By fully exploring the parameters controlling the growth and functionality of these materials we will try to gain a holistic understanding of the processing/structure/property relationships for this system. The ultimate goal of this project is to be able to design and fabricate specific nanowire heterostructures with tuneable magnetic and electrical properties which could lead to practical spintronic applications. Moreover this approach is inherently clean and scalable and easily integrated within current industrial practice.

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South Kensington Campus Exhibition Road
SW7 2AZ London
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 168 823,92
Administrative Contact
Shaun Power (Mr.)