Compact cryogenic Kerr microscope for time-resolved studies of electron spin transport in microstructures

Rizo, P. J.; Pugzˇlys, A.; Liu, J.; Reuter, D.; Wieck, A. D.; van der Wal, C. H.; van Loosdrecht, P. H. M.
December 2008
Review of Scientific Instruments;Dec2008, Vol. 79 Issue 12, p123904
Academic Journal
A compact cryogenic Kerr microscope for operation in the small volume of high-field magnets is described. It is suited for measurements both in Voigt and Faraday configurations. Coupled with a pulsed laser source, the microscope is used to measure the time-resolved Kerr rotation response of semiconductor microstructures with ∼1 μm spatial resolution. The microscope was designed to study spin transport, a critical issue in the field of spintronics. It is thus possible to generate spin polarization at a given location on a microstructure and probe it at a different location. The operation of the microscope is demonstrated by time-resolved measurements of micrometer distance diffusion of spin polarized electrons in a GaAs/AlGaAs heterojunction quantum well at 4.2 K and 7 T.


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