Leakage current through epitaxial BaTiO3 films was investigated to clarify the difference between the characteristics of nanometer and millimeter-size metal contacts. SrTiO3:Nb bottom electrode revealed genuine properties of a single metal/BaTiO3 contact and demonstrated that breakdown voltage and leakage current density at both nanometer and millimeter-size contacts were controlled by the Schottky barrier. However, in marked contrast with millimeter-size contacts, nanometer-size contacts conducted little current below breakdown voltage and repeatedly exhibited abrupt breakdowns having a giant current density ≫10 A mm-2. The breakdown field was as high as 0.45 MV cm-1 at the forward bias, while no breakdown occurred up to 0.5 MV cm-1 at the reverse bias. © 1998 American Institute of Physics.