Subthreshold characteristics of ballistic electron emission spectra
Qin, H. L.
Goh, K. E. J.
Pey, Kin Leong
Date of Issue2012
School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
We report upon a comprehensive investigation of the subthreshold characteristics of the ballistic electron emission microscopy (BEEM) current in ballistic electron emission spectroscopy. Starting from the Bell-Kaiser model, we derive an analytical equation to describe the subthreshold behavior of the BEEM current. It is found that the BEEM current in this region should exhibit a subthreshold swing of ∼60 mV/decade at room temperature, which we experimentally verified. This finding provides a rule of thumb for the detectability of the subthreshold behavior in a spectrum. For spectra where the subthreshold behavior is discernible above the signal noise, it is demonstrated that significant deviations in the near-threshold region can occur when fitting with a simple quadratic model that ignores the subthreshold behavior. To take the subthreshold behavior into account, a simple analytical model is proposed. This model not only fits significantly better in the near threshold region than the square model, but also gives a barrier height closer to the one extracted from the Bell-Kaiser model. More significantly, this model provides a quick method to estimate the subthreshold BEEM current amplitude based on the BEEM current above the barrier height.
Journal of applied physics
© 2012 American Institute of Physics. This paper was published in Journal of Applied Physics and is made available as an electronic reprint (preprint) with permission of American Institute of Physics. The paper can be found at the following official DOI: [http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3672698]. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic or multiple reproduction, distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper is prohibited and is subject to penalties under law.