The temperature dependence of the current–voltage characteristics of Ba0.5Sr0.5TiO3 (BST) thin-film capacitors was studied from 300 to 433 K. An Au/BST/Pt/Ti/SiO2/Si structure was used. The BST films were deposited by rf magnetron sputtering. The conduction current was dominated by Schottky emission at room temperature and by Poole–Frenkel emission above 403 K. The dominant conduction mechanism changed from Schottky emission to Poole–Frenkel emission in the temperature range from 373 to 403 K. The BST/Pt and the BST/Au Schottky barrier heights were found to be 0.88 and 0.72 eV, respectively. The trap energy level in BST was 0.83 eV. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.