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Direct measurement of the potential spike energy in AlGaAs/GaAs single-heterojunction bipolar transistors

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2 Author(s)
Lin, H.H. ; National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China ; Lee, S.C.

A balanced two-step current transport theory, i.e., thermionic emission followed by Shockley diffusion, is applied to study the emitter-base (EB) potential spike energy in the AlGaAs/GaAs single-heterojunction bipolar transistor. It is found, surprisingly, that when the transistor is operated in the active region the I-V characteristics of the collector current (IC) versus base-emitter applied voltage (VBE) exhibits an ideality factor of 1.237. This non-1kT transfer characteristics is due to the bias-dependent potential spike energy at the emitter-base heterojunction. The reverse I-V characteristics of emitter current (IE) versus base-collector bias (VBC), however, shows the traditional 1kT behavior. The difference between ICand IEat the same applied voltage ( V_{BE} = V_{BC} ) determines the potential spike energy (ΔE). It turns out that Δ E/q = 0.19 (V_{BE} - 0.48) where q is the unit charge. This indicates that the potential spike appears only when the applied voltage V_{BE} > 0.48 V.

Published in:

Electron Device Letters, IEEE  (Volume:6 ,  Issue: 8 )