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A micrographic investigation of the effect of mercury exposure on silicon substrates was conducted. Mercury was found to leave a residue on the silicon surface. A further study was conducted to determine the extent of electrical degradation of Si Schottky contacts due to the presence of a contaminant mercury residue between the metal and the semiconductor. It was concluded that such a layer caused uncertainties in subsequent resistivity measurements, higher capacitance‐voltage (C‐V) barrier heights, and observable leakage currents in current‐voltage (I‐V) plots taken from mercury‐contaminated Si Schottky diodes.