Ni-NiO-Ni Tunnel Junctions for Terahertz and Infrared Detection

We present complete experimental determinations of the tunnel barrier parameters (two barrier heights, junction area, dielectric constant, and extrinsic series resistance) as a function of temperature for the Ni-NiO-Ni system, showing that when the temperature-invariant parameters are forced to be consistent, good-quality fits are obtained between I-V curves and the Simmons equation for this very low-barrier system . A splitting of meV in the barrier heights due to the different processing histories of the upper and lower electrodes is clearly shown. We present a fabrication technique that produces high yields and consistent junction behaviour. We present preliminary results of inelastic tunnelling spectroscopy at 4 K that show a prominent peak at ~59 meV, shifted with respect to the expected transverse optic phonon excitation in bulk NiO but consistent with other surface-sensitive experiments. We discuss the implications of these results for the design of efficient detectors for terahertz and infrared radiation.

By: Philip C. D. Hobbs; Robert B. Laibowitz; Frank R. Libsch

Published in: RC23493 in 2005


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