Micrometer-sized Al/AlOx/Y tunnel junctions were fabricated by the electron-beam lithography technique. The thin (≈ 1.5-2 nm thickness) insulating AlOx layer was grown on top of the Al base electrode by O2 glow discharge. The zero-bias conductances G(T) and the current-voltage characteristics of the junctions were measured in a wide temperature range 1.5-300 K. In addition to the direct tunneling conduction mechanism observed in low-G junctions, high-G junctions reveal a distinct charge transport process which manifests the thermally fluctuation-induced tunneling conduction (FITC) through short nanoconstrictions.We ascribe the experimental realization of the FITC mechanism to originating from the formations of "hot spots" (incomplete pinholes) in the AlOx layer owing to large junction-barrier interfacial roughness.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)