Characterization of breakdown phenomena in light emitting silicon n+p diodes

Lukas W. Snyman, Herzl Aharoni, Monuko Du Plessis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


A 10 kV, 10-10 A focused electron beam was used to map localized charge multiplication, and localized avalanche breakdown sites in the depletion region of light emitting silicon n+p junctions. It was observed that the localized avalanche breakdown sites led to the formation of large densities of extremely small current filaments in the junction. The dimension of each filament was well into the submicron range (100-150 nm in diameter) and the densities of the filaments varied laterally across the junction between 4×108 and 4×1010 cm-2. Accurate and high resolution maps of the current filaments could be obtained. The formation of the individual current filaments (microavalanche sites) at a submicron level are apparently related to localized defect and materials effects. The distribution of the current filaments at the micron level relates to the strength and distribution of electric field at the junction interface. Direct evidence has been obtained that the nonuniformities in the light emission patterns on a larger scale (10-100) microns are controlled by dopant striations on the lower doped p-side of the diode junction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2953-2959
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Sep 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


Dive into the research topics of 'Characterization of breakdown phenomena in light emitting silicon n+p diodes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this