Microwave Point Contact Diode Responsivity Improvement through Surface Effects in Vacuum

N. S. Kopeika, Israel Hirsh, M. Ravfogel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Desorption of air atoms from point contact diode surfaces via exposure to vacuum can give rise to significant changes in electronic characteristics. In the example considered, exposure of an X-band detector to a modest vacuum gives rise to a responsivity increase of about 80 percent for video and heterodyne detection. Experiments indicate that vacuum desorption of minority surface impurities increases the barrier height and decreases tunneling probability, thus increasing diode nonlinearity and making the diodes more nearly “ideal.” The resulting relative increase of the thermionic emission current should decrease the effective shot-noise temperature, thus increasing the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) even further.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1384-1387
Number of pages4
JournalIEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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