Long hole spin relaxation times in diluted magnetic semiconductor heterostructures

B. T. Jonker*, L. P. Fu, W. Y. Yu, Wu-Ching Chou, A. Petrou, J. Warnock

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


We report the observation of long spin lifetimes for heavy holes in (Zn,Mn)Se and (Zn,Fe)Se based heterostructures. These long spin relaxation times are observed in both simple strained epilayers, as well as in complex spin superlattice structures in which the spin up and spin down carriers occupy alternating layers of the superlattice. In photoluminescence spectra, both the higher energy (+1/2, +3/2) and lower energy (-1/2, -3/2)heavy hole exciton interband transitions are observed, even though it would be energetically favorable for the spin up carriers to first relax to the spin down state before radiative recombination. From the magnetic field dependence of the intensity ratio of these components and a rate equation model, we find that the heavy hole spin lifetime τhs is substantially longer than the electron spin lifetime τes, with τhsr ≈ 4 and τesr ≈ 0.06, where τr is the radiative recombination time. This is attributed to the strain induced splitting of the heavy and light hole bands, which inhibits mixing of the hole spin states and subsequent dipole-allowed transitions producing fast spin relaxation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-495
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Electronic Materials
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 1993


  • Exciton
  • heavy holes
  • photoluminescence
  • quantum well
  • spin lifetimes
  • strain

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