The development of semiconductor spintronics requires a reliable electronic means for writing, processing and reading information using spin-polarized carriers. Here, we demonstrate a fully electrical scheme for achieving spin injection, transport and detection in a single device. Our device consists of a lateral semiconducting channel with two ferromagnetic contacts, one of which serves as a source of spin-polarized electrons and the other as a detector. Spin detection in the device is achieved through a non-local, spin-sensitive, Schottky-tunnel-barrier contact whose electrochemical potential depends on the relative magnetizations of the source and detector. We verify the effectiveness of this approach by showing that a transverse magnetic field suppresses the non-local signal at the detection contact by inducing spin precession and dephasing in the channel (the Hanle effect). The sign of the signal varies with the injection current and is correlated with the spin polarization in the channel as determined by optical Kerr rotation measurements.
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We thank B. D. Schultz and K. Raach for assistance and E. D. Dahlberg for useful discussions. This work was supported by the Office of Naval Research, the National Science Foundation MRSEC, NNIN and IGERT Programs and the Los Alamos LDRD program. Correspondence and requests for materials should be addressed to P.A.C. Supplementary Information accompanies this paper on www.nature.com/naturephysics.