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Memory switching effects in a-Si/c-Si heterojunction bipolar structures

Publication Type:

Journal Article


IEEE Electron Device Lett. (USA), Volume 13, Number 8, p.396 - 8 (1992)



amorphous semiconductors;elemental semiconductors;heterojunction bipolar transistors;semiconductor storage;semiconductor switches;silicon;


The authors report a three-terminal undoped amorphous silicon (a-Si)/p-n crystalline silicon (c-Si) structure, which exhibits OFF and ON states. An OFF state is characterized by a current in the structure in the low nanoampere range due to the large resistance of the undoped a-Si layer, while in the ON state the structure exhibits a large conductance and its current is determined in practice by the load resistance. Reversible switching between the two states with a rise time of about 40 ns and a fall time of about 200 ns was achieved by applying appropriate positive or negative current pulses to the base of the c-Si p-n junction. The structure can be integrated into a standard bipolar process, and, being of a size suitable for VLSI applications, may be useful as a basic three-terminal memory cell


three-terminal structure;memory switching effects;reversible switching;positive current pulses;heterojunction bipolar structures;OFF state;ON state;load resistance;rise time;fall time;negative current pulses;bipolar process;VLSI;three-terminal memory cell;40 ns;200 ns;Si;