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Determination of Schottky barrier height of fabricated CuO-Pb

junction
Cano, Angelica1*, Vasquez, Raymond Jeff2
Institute of Mathematical Sciences and Physics,
University of the Philippines Los Baos, Laguna
*Corresponding author: apcano@up.edu.ph

Abstract
The purpose of this laboratory exercise is to fabricate a Schottky material using
a metal and a semiconducting compound, and to determine the Schottky barrier height of
the junction. The materials used in the fabrication of the diode were Copper (II) oxide
and Lead. The IV characteristics of the junction were observed by obtaining currentvoltage values in the forward and reverse bias configurations. Using the thermoionic
diffusion model, the Schottky barrier height of the CuO-Pb junction was determined to
have an experimental value of 0.665 eV. The fabricated CuO-Pb junction showed
acceptable rectifying properties, as shown by the exponential increase of current with
respect to the applied bias voltage.

1. Introduction
The Metal-Semiconductor (MS) junction is the oldest solid-state junction to be studied and used for applications
[1]. It consists of a metal in contact with a piece of semiconductor. The contact may be ohmic, which allows current
to pass in either direction or rectifying, which only allows current to pass in one direction. This Schottky diode
posses an interesting property called the Schottky barrier height which is the rectifying barrier for electrical
conduction across the MS junction. This barrier height can be vital to the successful operation of any semiconductor
device. The barrier between the metal and the semiconductor can be identified on an energy band diagram. To
construct such diagram we first consider the energy band diagram of the metal and the semiconductor, and align
them using the same vacuum level as shown below [2].

Figure 1. Energy band diagram of the metal and the semiconductor before (a) and after (b) contact is
made, where FM is the work function of the metal and c is the electron affinity.
As the metal and semiconductor are brought together, the Fermi energies of the metal and the
semiconductor do not change right away. The barrier height, fB, is defined as the potential difference between the
Fermi energy of the metal and the band edge where the majority carriers reside. A metal-semiconductor junction will
therefore form a barrier for electrons and holes if the Fermi energy of the metal as drawn on the diagram is
somewhere between the conduction and valence band edge [2].

n-type

p-type

Figure 2. Energy band diagram of SM junction with n-type(left) and p-type(right) semiconductor. [3]

The main goal of this experiment is to fabricate a Schottky material using a metal and a semiconducting
compound. The fabricated MS junction will then be characterized using current-voltage measurements. The
Schottky barrier height of the MS must be determined to gain a better understanding of the device performance.
One of the commonly used techniques in measuring the barrier height is through the Current Density-Voltage
technique (J-V) which yields a linear characteristic from the Thermionic Emission Theory [4,5,6]. This will be
extensively discussed in the results section of this paper.

2. Methodology
The materials and instruments used for this experiment were powder Copper (II) oxide, silver wire, silver paste,
lead wire, tape, mortar and pestle, pelletizer, sensitive balance scale, multimeter, connecting wires and a DC voltage
supply. First, weigh 1 gram of copper oxide then grind for one hour. After weighing, pelletize for 20min. For the
electrical characterization of the Ms junction, one face of the pelletized CuO was made in contact to a piece of lead
wire while the other face was attached to a piece of silver wire using silver paste.

Copper Oxide
Silver wire

Lead Wire

Figure 3. Metal-semiconductor junction set-up


The MS junction was then connected in forward-bias configuration. The current was monitored in varying
values of bias voltage. The same method was done when the MS junction was connected in reverse-bias
configuration. The data obtained were then graphed and analyzed.

3. Results and Discussion


In this experiment, the materials used to create a metal-semiconductor junction are Copper oxide (p-type
semiconductor) and a piece of Lead wire. The current-voltage measurements of the fabricated junction was gathered
and shown below.
0
0
Current (A)

0
0
-8 -6 -4 -2

Voltage (V)

Figure 4. The reverse and forward bias current voltage characteristics of CuO PB junction
From a standard IV plot, it is possible to determine the ideality factor of the MS junction by obtaining the
slope of the logarithmic plot of the experimental values of current density with respect to the bias voltage. The
image shown below shows the experimental extrapolation of the ideality factor.

Figure 5. Experimental determination of ideality factor of MS junctions [9]


Using MS Excel, the logarithmic IV plot of the MS junction in forward bias was obtained and shown
below. The slope, which is needed to determine the ideality factor n is determined to have a value of 0.742.
-8.5
-9 4 6 8
-9.5- 14.52
f(x) = 0.74x
Log Current density (A/sq. m)
R = 0.99-10
-10.5
-11
Voltage (V)

Figure 6. The logarithmic IV plot of CuO Pb junction in forward bias


The ideality factor n is given by,

( k qT )( VlnJ )

n=

where V is the bias voltage; J is the current density; k B is the Boltzmanns constant and T is the temperature (in
Kelvin).
The slope obtained from the graph corresponds to

lnJ
V , so to get the value of the second term of the

formula, the reciprocal of the slope [8]. This value was then multiplied to the Boltzmanns constant (in eV) and the
temperature of the environment at the time of measurement. The ideality factor was determined to be 52.455.
According to the lecture, if n

1, then the IV measurement method is compatible with the Schottky material

being tested.
The mathematical model used in determining barrier height is the thermoionic-diffusion theory given by,

qV
kB T
(1)
q SB
T 2 exp
exp
k BT
J = A

m A 2
k
m0 cm2

( )

120

where A** is the Richardson constant of the semiconductor material;

SB is the Schottky barrier height; m is

the effective electron mass of the semiconductor material and

m 0 is the mass of an electron. Using the

exponentiated value of the y-intercept from the graph, the second exponential term of the model will reduce to a
value of 1 giving a simpler expression:

q SB
k BT

J=A

T 2 exp

from this an expression was derived to determine the barrier height of the MSM junction,
2

A T
J

q SB =ln

The computed experimental barrier height of the CuO-Pb junction is 0.665 eV. This value is considered a
good experimental result because it falls under the band gap value of Copper oxide. Based on the results of the IV
measurement in forward bias, the fabricated MS junction can be considered to have acceptable rectifying properties.
This is supported by the rapid increase of current with minimal increase of bias voltage [7].
Using theoretical values, the Band bending and the Schottky barrier of the fabricated MS junction was
computed using the following formulas and values.
Band bending:

Schottky barrier (p-type):

V B = m SC
p

SB = m SC EG

Table 1. Relevant Parameters in determination of CuO Pb Schottky characteristics


Work Function () Electron affinity () Band gap (EG)
Copper oxide (CuO) 5.3 eV
4.07 eV
1.2 eV
Lead (Pb)
4.14 eV
0.403 eV
--The computed theoretical values for the Band bending and Schottky barrier of the fabricated CuO Pb
junction are -1.16 eV and -1.13eV respectively.

4. Conclusion
A Schottky barrier was created by the junction of a semiconductor and a metal surface. The materials used in
this experiment are powdered, black Copper oxide and a piece of Lead wire. Copper oxide, a p-type semiconductor
was made in contact with Lead. The IV characteristics of the fabricated MS junction were observed by getting
current-voltage values in the forward and reverse bias configurations. Using the thermoionic diffusion model, the
Schottky barrier height of the CuO-Pb junction was determined to have an experimental value of 0.665 eV. The
fabricated CuO-Pb junction showed acceptable rectifying properties, as shown by the exponential increase of current
with respect to the applied bias voltage.

5. References
[1]

Sah, C.T., Fundamentals of solid-state electronics(1993). Google Books. Web. 30 Aug 2015

[2]

Van Zeghbroeck, B., Metal-Semiconductor Junctions, Ch 3. Principles of Semiconductor Devices


(2011). Retrieved from http://ecee.colorado.edu/~bart/book/book/chapter3/ch3_2.htm#fig3_2_2
on 30 Aug 2015

[3]

Hu, C. Metal-Semiconductor Contacts, Ch 9, Semiconductor Devices for Integrated Circuits ().


Retrieved from http://www-inst.eecs.berkeley.edu/~ee130/sp06/chp9.pdf on 30 Aug 2015

[4]

Chiangshi,L., Feng,L. Determination of Schottky Barrier Height independent on temperature via


reverse currentreverse voltage and temperature (2015).
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from
http://www.intechopen.com/books/biomedical-engineering-technical-applicationsinmedicine/implementation-of-schottky-barrier-diodes-sbd-in-standard-cmos-processforbiomedical-applications on 30 Aug 2015

[5]

[6]

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Diode at low Temperatures (2011)

[7]

Gholami, S., Khakbaz, M. (2011). Measurement of I-V Characteristics of a PtSi/p-Si Schottky


Barrier Diode at low Temperatures. World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology
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[8]

N. Ryo (n.d.). Extraction of the Schottky parameters in metal semiconductor-metal diodes from a
single current voltage measurement. Retrieved August 23, 2015

[9]

Stallinga, P. (2009). Theory of electrical characterization of (organic) semiconductors.


http://www.stallinga.org/ElectricalCharacterization/2terminal/index.html. Retrieved August 23,
2015