Leakage currents in high-permittivity thin films

Schroeder, Herbert; Schmitz, Sam; Meuffels, Paul
February 2003
Applied Physics Letters;2/3/2003, Vol. 82 Issue 5, p781
Academic Journal
Quite often leakage current data through high-permittivity thin films exhibit straight lines in the "Schottky" plot, i.e., log (current density j) versus sqrt (mean applied field), which suggests an electrode-limited current by field-enhanced thermionic emission. Unfortunately, the extracted permittivity at optical frequencies seldom is in agreement with experimental values and often is unacceptably small, i.e., <1. We suggest a model demonstrating that the leakage current in high-permittivity thin films is bulk-limited, but still is showing the characteristic dependence of thermionic emission. This is due to a combination of boundary conditions of the model, low-permittivity thin layers ("dead layer") at the electrodes and current injection/recombination terms at the injecting/collecting electrodes, respectively.


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