Hybrid optical-electrical detection of donor electron spins with bound excitons in silicon

C. C. Lo, M. Urdampilleta, P. Ross, M. F. Gonzalez-Zalba, J. Mansir, S. A. Lyon, M. L.W. Thewalt, J. J.L. Morton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Electrical detection of spins is an essential tool for understanding the dynamics of spins, with applications ranging from optoelectronics and spintronics, to quantum information processing. For electron spins bound to donors in silicon, bulk electrically detected magnetic resonance has relied on coupling to spin readout partners such as paramagnetic defects or conduction electrons, which fundamentally limits spin coherence times. Here we demonstrate electrical detection of donor electron spin resonance in an ensemble by transport through a silicon device, using optically driven donor-bound exciton transitions. We measure electron spin Rabi oscillations, and obtain long electron spin coherence times, limited only by the donor concentration. We also experimentally address critical issues such as non-resonant excitation, strain, and electric fields, laying the foundations for realizing a single-spin readout method with relaxed magnetic field and temperature requirements compared with spin-dependent tunnelling, enabling donor-based technologies such as quantum sensing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)490-494
Number of pages5
JournalNature Materials
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • General Materials Science


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