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Conductance quantization at a half-integer plateau in a symmetric GaAs quantum wire

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

  • R. Crook
  • J. Prance
  • K. J. Thomas
  • S. J. Chorley
  • I. Farrer
  • D. A. Ritchie
  • M. Pepper
  • C. G. Smith
Journal publication date2/06/2006
JournalScience
Journal number5778
Volume312
Number of pages4
Pages1359-1362
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

We present data from an induced gallium arsenide ( GaAs) quantum wire that exhibits an additional conductance plateau at 0.5(2e(2)/h), where e is the charge of an electron and h is Planck's constant, in zero magnetic field. The plateau was most pronounced when the potential landscape was tuned to be symmetric by using low-temperature scanning-probe techniques. Source-drain energy spectroscopy and temperature response support the hypothesis that the origin of the plateau is the spontaneous spin-polarization of the transport electrons: a ferromagnetic phase. Such devices may have applications in the field of spintronics to either generate or detect a spin-polarized current without the complications associated with external magnetic fields or magnetic materials.