Spatially homogeneous ferromagnetism of (Ga, Mn)As

S. R. Dunsiger, J. P. Carlo, T. Goko, G. Nieuwenhuys, T. Prokscha, A. Suter, E. Morenzoni, Daichi Chiba, Y. Nishitani, T. Tanikawa, F. Matsukura, H. Ohno, J. Ohe, S. Maekawa, Y. J. Uemura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)


Mn-doped GaAs is a ferromagnetic semiconductor1,2, widely studied because of its possible application for spin-sensitive spintronics devices3,4. The material also attracts great interest in fundamental research regarding its evolution from a paramagnetic insulator to a ferromagnetic metal5,6. The high sensitivity of its physical properties to preparation conditions and heat treatments7,8 and the strong doping and temperature dependencies of the magnetic anisotropy 9,10 have generated a view in the research community that ferromagnetism in (Ga, Mn)As may be associated with unavoidable and intrinsic strong spatial inhomogeneity. Muon spin relaxation (μSR) probes magnetism, yielding unique information about the volume fraction of regions having static magnetic order, as well as the size and distribution of the ordered moments 11-13. By combining low-energy μSR, conductivity and a.c.and d.c.magnetization results obtained on high-quality thin-film specimens, we demonstrate here that (Ga, Mn)As shows a sharp onset of ferromagnetic order, developing homogeneously in the full volume fraction, in both insulating and metallic films. Smooth evolution of the ordered moment size across the insulator-metal phase boundary indicates strong ferromagnetic coupling between Mn moments that exists before the emergence of fully itinerant hole carriers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-303
Number of pages5
JournalNature Materials
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Apr


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