Effect of ion-milled barriers on electron transport in micrometer-sized tunnel junctions

Yen Chi Lee, Yong Han Lin, Jong Ching Wu, Juhn Jong Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We studied the electron transport properties of micrometre-sized all-Al tunnel junctions (TJs) between 2 and 300 K, in which the AlOx layer grown by O2 plasma was moderately Ar-ion-milled prior to top electrode deposition. In contrast to the direct tunnelling in the TJs whose barriers are intact (not ion-milled), the zero-bias conductances and the current-voltage characteristics of the TJs as processed are found to be best described by the fluctuation-induced tunnelling conduction mechanism. This observation indicates the formation of nanoscopic incomplete pinholes in the AlOx layer, owing to large junction-barrier interfacial roughness introduced by the ion-milling process. Topographical features revealed by the cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy imaging of the TJ stack conform to this result. This study is of relevance to cases in which ion-milling techniques are applied in tailoring the TJ properties.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105305
JournalJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Volume47
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Mar 12

Fingerprint

Tunnel junctions
tunnel junctions
micrometers
Ions
ions
electrons
Electron transport properties
pinholes
Current voltage characteristics
roughness
transport properties
Surface roughness
Electron Transport
Transmission electron microscopy
Plasmas
Imaging techniques
conduction
transmission electron microscopy
Electrodes
electrodes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

Cite this

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abstract = "We studied the electron transport properties of micrometre-sized all-Al tunnel junctions (TJs) between 2 and 300 K, in which the AlOx layer grown by O2 plasma was moderately Ar-ion-milled prior to top electrode deposition. In contrast to the direct tunnelling in the TJs whose barriers are intact (not ion-milled), the zero-bias conductances and the current-voltage characteristics of the TJs as processed are found to be best described by the fluctuation-induced tunnelling conduction mechanism. This observation indicates the formation of nanoscopic incomplete pinholes in the AlOx layer, owing to large junction-barrier interfacial roughness introduced by the ion-milling process. Topographical features revealed by the cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy imaging of the TJ stack conform to this result. This study is of relevance to cases in which ion-milling techniques are applied in tailoring the TJ properties.",
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Effect of ion-milled barriers on electron transport in micrometer-sized tunnel junctions. / Lee, Yen Chi; Lin, Yong Han; Wu, Jong Ching; Lin, Juhn Jong.

In: Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, Vol. 47, No. 10, 105305, 12.03.2014.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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