We present the characteristics of uniformly doped silicon Esaki tunnel diodes grown by low temperature molecular beam epitaxy (Tgrowth=275°C) using in situ boron and phosphorus doping. The effects of ex situ thermal annealing are presented for temperatures between 640 and 800°C. A maximum peak to valley current ratio (PVCR) of 1.47 was obtained at the optimum annealing temperature of 680°C for 1 min. Peak and valley (excess) currents decreased more than two orders of magnitude as annealing temperatures and times were increased with rates empirically determined to have thermal activation energies of 2.2 and 2.4 eV respectively. The decrease in current density is attributed to widening of the tunneling barrier due to the diffusion of phosphorus and boron. A peak current density of 47 kA/cm2 (PVCR=1.3) was achieved and is the highest reported current density for a Si-based Esaki diode (grown by either epitaxy or by alloying). The temperature dependence of the current voltage characteristics of a Si Esaki diode in the range from 4.2 to 325 K indicated that both the peak current and the excess current are dominated by quantum mechanical tunneling rather than by recombination. The temperature dependence of the peak and valley currents is due to the band gap dependence of the tunneling probability.

Publication Date



Copyright 2000 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from the IEEE. ISSN:0018-9383 Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2014.

Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Microelectronic Engineering (KGCOE)


RIT – Main Campus