Negative differential resistance in MIM devices from vacuum to atmospheric pressure

Peter D. Hooper, G. McHale, Michael I. Newton

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


When a thin gold film is electroformed under an oil diffusion-pumped vacuum, the device subsequently displays a voltage controlled negative differential resistance (NDR) with electroluminescence (EL) and electron emission (EE). In this work we present experimental data, showing a device continuing to exhibit NDR when taken from vacuum to atmospheric pressure in either argon or nitrogen gas. NDR is observed over many voltage cycles with an accompanying EL, which is in contrast to the suppression of NDR which occurs on the first cycle for a deice in air at atmospheric pressure; NDR can only then be re-established by returning the device to vacuum. Therefore, as NDR can be achieved at atmospheric pressure in argon or nitrogen gas this indicates it is the presence of oxygen that inhibits the NDR conduction mechanism when a voltage is applied at atmospheric pressure.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProc. SPIE 2780, Metal/Nonmetal Microsystems: Physics, Technology, and Applications, (8 April 1996)
EditorsBenedykt W. Licznerski, Andrzej Dziedzic
Place of PublicationUnited States
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)0819421669
Publication statusPublished - 1996


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