Tunneling spectroscopy in degenerate p-type silicon

D. E. Cullen, E. L. Wolf, W. Dale Compton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tunneling in boron-doped p-type silicon metal-semiconductor (MS) and metal-insulator-semiconductor (MIS) tunnel junctions has been studied at low temperatures by measuring the derivatives dIdV and d2IdV2 of the current-voltage characteristics as functions of applied bias voltage V. The boron impurity concentration of the silicon crystals varied from 6.5 × 1018 to 2.3 × 1020 cm-3. Junctions were prepared by evaporating metal contacts onto vacuum- or air-cleaved silicon surfaces. The general features of the tunneling conductance were found to be in qualitative agreement with existing theories of tunneling in semiconductors. Structure in the derivative data resulting from the interaction of tunneling electrons with silicon zone-center optical phonons and boron local-mode phonons has been observed. The optical-phonon line shapes in the most heavily doped MIS units are shown to compare well with the theoretical line shapes in which modifications in the bulk semiconductor states arising from electron-optical-phonon interactions in the semiconductor electrode have been included. The origin of the optical-phonon and local-mode-phonon structure in samples of lower doping is not fully understood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3157-3169
Number of pages13
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1970

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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