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The influence of a transverse-effective-mass difference on the current at an abrupt heterojunction

Publication Type:

Journal Article


J. Appl. Phys. (USA), Volume 79, Number 8, p.4203 - 10 (1996)



aluminium compounds;effective mass;gallium arsenide;heterojunction bipolar transistors;III-V semiconductors;semiconductor device models;semiconductor heterojunctions;tunnelling;


The issue of momentum conservation, and its effect on tunneling, at an abrupt heterojunction interface between semiconductors of different transverse effective mass is considered. A thorough derivation is provided of the equations needed to calculate the electron tunnel current in forward bias. Quantitative results are presented for the current in a variety of effective-mass-difference scenarios, including that of the AlGaAs/GaAs case. The circumstances are identified in which the effective-mass difference causes the current to differ significantly from the value computed when following the usual practice of assuming the effective masses are equal


transverse-effective-mass difference;abrupt heterojunction;momentum conservation;tunneling;forward bias;AlGaAs/GaAs;HBTs;AlGaAs-GaAs;