Surface-mediated spin dynamics probed by optical-pump–probe scanning tunneling microscopy†
In current materials science and technologies, surface effects on carrier and spin dynamics in functional materials and devices are of great importance. In this paper, we present the surface-sensitive probing of electron spin dynamics, performed by optical-pump–probe scanning tunneling microscopy (OPP-STM). Time-resolved spin lifetime information on a manganese (Mn)-deposited GaAs(110) surface was successfully obtained for the first time. With increasing Mn density via in situ evaporation, a nonlinear change in the spin lifetime in the picosecond range was clearly observed, while directly confirming the Mn density by STM. In comparison with the results obtained by the conventional OPP method, we have also demonstrated that the observed nonlinear spin lifetime behavior was surface-mediated, which can be characterized using only the surface-sensitive OPP-STM technique.
- This article is part of the themed collection: 2019 PCCP HOT Articles