Structure-Dependent Spin Polarization in Polymorphic CdS:Y Semiconductor Nanocrystals

Searching for the polymorphic semiconductor nanocrystals would provide precise and insightful structure-spin polarization correlations and meaningful guidance for designing and synthesizing high spin-polarized spintronic materials. Herein, the high spin polarization is achieved in polymorphic CdS:Y semiconductor nanocrystals. The high-pressure polymorph of rock-salt CdS:Y nanocrystals has been recovered at ambient conditions synthesized by the wurtzite CdS:Y nanocrystals as starting material under 5.2 GPa and 300 °C conditions. The rock-salt CdS:Y polymorph displays more robust room-temperature ferromagnetism than wurtzite sample, which can reach the ferromagnetic level of conventional semiconductors doped with magnetic transition-metal ions, mainly due to the significantly enhanced spin configuration and defect states. Therefore, crystal structure directly governs the spin configuration, which determines the degree of spin polarization. This work can provide experimental and theoretical methods for designing the high spin-polarized semiconductor nanocrystals, which is important for applications in semiconductor spintronics.