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Broad-spectrum light emission at microscopic breakdown sites in metal-insulator-silicon tunnel diodes

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5 Author(s)
Mihaychuk, J.G. ; National Research Council, Institute for Microstructural Sciences, Building M-50, Montreal Road, Ottawa, ON K1A 0R6, Canada ; Denhoff, M.W. ; McAlister, S.P. ; McKinnon, W.R.
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In addition to Si band-edge electroluminescence (EL) near 1.1 eV, we observe hot-electron EL in metal-insulator-silicon tunnel diodes that can span a detector-limited range from 0.7 to 2.6 eV (1780–480 nm). The maximum photon energy increases with increasing forward bias. In one implementation, sub-micron-sized EL sites appear during the forward-bias stress. The number of sites grows linearly with the current, consistent with the dielectric breakdown of the insulator. We compare the poststress current-voltage data with the quantum-point-contact model. Results are presented for various p-type Si(100) devices having 2–8-nm-thick SiO2, Al2O3, and HfOxNy insulators. We also describe devices in which electron-beam lithography of an 18-nm-thick SiO2 is used to define EL sites.

Published in:

Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:98 ,  Issue: 5 )

Date of Publication:

Sep 2005

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