Geometrical rectifying properties of metal-vacuum-metal junctions

Alexandre Mayer, Brock Landon Weiss, M. S. Chung, N. M. Miskovsky, P. H. Cutler

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Point-contact diodes are among the devices used for the selective detection and mixing of infrared radiations [1]. In these devices a sharp tip terminates in a MVM or MIM barrier. However, in contrast to a linear MIM rectifier, rectification can here be due to the geometrical asymmetry of the tip [1,2]. Current efforts aim at reducing the characteristic response times and improving the sensitivity of these systems. Fundamental properties and potential applications of metal-vacuum-metal junctions exhibiting a geometrical asymmetry are still open to investigation. We report on the rectification properties of geometrically asymmetric metal-vacuum-metal (MVM) junctions. Our model is a planar cathode metal that supports a hemispherical protrusion. Using a transfer matrix methodology, we compute the forward and backward currents. The currents enable the calculation of the rectification ratio of the device in the limit of quasistatic fields.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication33rd IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2008
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008
Event33rd IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2008 - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: May 11 2008May 16 2008

Publication series

NameConference Record of the IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference
ISSN (Print)0160-8371


Other33rd IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2008
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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