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Electron Current Through Thin Mica Films


McColl, Malcolm (1964) Electron Current Through Thin Mica Films. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/7ENX-8503.


NOTE: Text or symbols not renderable in plain ASCII are indicated by [...]. Abstract is included in .pdf document. Muscovite mica, cleaving every 10[Angstroms], provides a crystalline insulator with uniformly parallel surfaces of well known separation ideally suited to the study of electron transport phenomena. Using a micro-splitting technique similar to that developed by Foote and Kazan, muscovite was cleaved in a vacuum of 10(^6) Torr and metal electrodes evaporated, aluminum on one side, gold on the other. The current through 30 and 40[Angstrom] films was measured as a function of voltage and temperature and analyzed in terms of the tunneling theory of Stratton. Using the actual image-force barrier shape, the approximately symmetrical volt-ampere data gave barrier heights of [?] = 0.95 and 0.93eV for the 40 and 30[Angstrom] films, respectively, for an effective mass ratio of m*/m =0.92. The theoretical temperature dependence was observed in the 40[Angstrom] film from room temperature down to liquid nitrogen temperature (77[degrees]K). Thicker films 50 to 10,000 [Angstroms], exhibited temperature dependent volt-ampere curves linear in log I versus [square root of]V over a factor of 10:1 in voltage and a thermal activation energy of 0.55eV, lower than [t]he barrier height above possibly because of injection into polaron states. Preliminary photoelectric response data yielded [?] = 0.8eV, raising some question as to the real meaning of the [?] found from tunneling theory.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:(Electrical Engineering and Physics)
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Electrical Engineering
Minor Option:Physics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Mead, Carver
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:6 February 1964
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-10142002-162916
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:4081
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:16 Oct 2002
Last Modified:29 Jan 2024 21:04

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PDF (McColl_m_1964.pdf) - Final Version
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