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Electrical resistance of metallic contacts on silicon and germanium during indentation

  • G.M. Pharr (a1), W.C. Oliver (a2), R.F. Cook (a3), P.D. Kirchner (a3), M.C. Kroll (a3), T.R. Dinger (a3) and D.R. Clarke (a4)...

The effects of indentation on the electrical resistance of rectifying gold-chromium contacts on silicon and germanium have been studied using nanoindentation techniques. The DC resistance of circuits consisting of positively and negatively biased contacts with silicon and germanium in the intervening gap was measured while indenting either directly in the gap or on the contacts. Previous experiments showed that a large decrease in resistance occurs when an indentation bridges a gap, which was used to support the notion that a transformation from the semiconducting to the metallic state occurs beneath the indenter. The experimental results reported here, however, show that a large portion of the resistance drop is due to decreases in the resistance of the metal-to-semiconductor interface rather than the bulk semiconductor. Experimental evidence supporting this is presented, and a simple explanation for the physical processes involved is developed which still relies on the concept of an indentation-induced, semiconducting-to-metallic phase transformation.

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Journal of Materials Research
  • ISSN: 0884-2914
  • EISSN: 2044-5326
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-materials-research
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