Negative differential resistance in MIM devices from vacuum to atmospheric pressure

Peter Hooper, Glen McHale, Michael Newton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


When a thin gold film is electroformed in 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 that show a device continuing to exhibit NDR when taken from the 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 device in air at atmospheric pressure; NDR can then only 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 that it is the presence of oxygen that inhibits the NDR conduction mechanism when a voltage is applied at atmospheric pressure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-439
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Electronics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1996


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