Stochastic current switching in bistable resonant tunneling systems

O. A. Tretiakov, K. A. Matveev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Current-voltage characteristics of resonant-tunneling structures often exhibit intrinsic bistabilities. In the bistable region of the I-V curve one of the two current states is metastable. The system switches from the metastable state to the stable one at a random moment in time. The mean switching time τ depends exponentially on the bias measured from the boundary of the bistable region Vth. We find full expressions for τ (including prefactors) as functions of bias, sample geometry, and in-plane conductivity. Our results take universal form upon appropriate renormalization of the threshold voltage Vth. We also show that in large samples the switching initiates inside, at the edge, or at a corner of the sample depending on the parameters of the system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number165326
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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