HIGH FREQUENCY TUNNEL DEVICE STUDY.
RAYTHEON CO WALTHAM MASS RESEARCH DIV
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An investigation was made of the feasibility of achieving low-noise microwave amplification by using tunneling. Studies of the temperature dependence of deterioration phenomena in AlAl2O3Au devices have yielded information about the failure mechanisms responsible for the short lifetimes heretofore obtained. Device failure is attributed to several causes. Flaws in the insulating film sometimes develop into partial shorts under the stresses of device operation. Ions migrating through the oxide layer may produce a change in the barrier. Ionic conduction currents may also cause some electrochemical dissociation of the insulator material. Overheating of the device during operation accelerates the destructive processes. Experimental results seem to indicate that aluminum oxide is not a useful material for the insulator in a tunnel emitter and that a more effective material must be found. Author