Light-emission mechanism of Si-MOS tunnel junctions

Y. Uehara, J. Watanabe, S. Fujikawa, S. Ushioda

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21 Citations (Scopus)


The light-emission mechanism of Si-MOS (metal-oxide-semiconductor) junctions has been investigated. Si/SiO2/metal (Al or Au) MOS junctions with extremely smooth interfaces were fabricated by taking advantage of the well-developed Si processing technology. The observed light-emission spectra can be accounted for by the current fluctuation theory of light-emitting tunnel junctions [B. Laks and D. L. Mills, Phys. Rev. B 20, 4962 (1979)]. There are two channels of light emission: the direct emission from the fluctuation of the tunneling current and the indirect emission that arises from the scattering (by surface roughness) of surface-plasmon polaritons generated by the fluctuating tunnel current. The light from the Si/SiO2/Al junction arises mainly from the direct emission from the fluctuating current. The light from the Si/SiO2/Au junction contains both the direct and indirect emissions with approximately equal strengths. The direct and indirect emissions have comparable strength in our junctions, because our Si-based junctions are extremely smooth and the indirect emission is much weaker than in the junctions used in earlier studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2229-2238
Number of pages10
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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