General Conditions for Stability in Bistable Electrical Devices with S- or Z-Shaped Current-Voltage Characteristics

  • A. Wacker
  • E. Schöll
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSB, volume 342)


Many semiconductor devices exhibit bistability between two conducting states at a given sample voltage (Shaw et al., 1992). This can be manifested in different shapes of the current-voltage characteristics as shown in Fig. 1. The most prominent type is the S-type characteristic as shown in Fig. 1(a), which occurs e.g. in the Heterostructure Hot-Electron Diode (HHED) (Hess et al., 1986; Wacker and Schöll, 1992) and quantum-dot structures (Wu et al., 1992). The second case (Fig. 1b) which is Z-shaped is currently widely discussed for the double-barrier resonant-tunnelling diode (DBRTD, see e.g. (1987)). It also appears in the post-breakdown regime of p-Germanium (Schöll et al., 1987) where the loop-shaped case (Fig. 1c) has been observed, too. An unconnected characteristic as shown in Fig. 1(d) occurs at the magnetoconductivity in n-Si (Asche et al., 1984) and has also been proposed for real-space transfer transistors (Luryi and Pinto, 1991). In this article we want to examine the intrinsic stability of these elements in general terms.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Wacker
    • 1
  • E. Schöll
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Theoretische PhysikTechnische Universität BerlinBerlinGermany

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