Electronic Properties of Amorphous Semiconductors

  • P. Nagels
Part of the NATO Advanced Study Institutes Series book series (NSSB, volume 17)


In recent years there has been an increasing interest in noncrystalline materials from both fundamental and technological point of view. One of the major reasons for the intensive research in this field was the discovery of non-destructive fast electrical switching in thin amorphous films of certain chalcogenide alloys. This phenomenon, which deals with current-voltage characteristics in amorphous films, can be described as follows. When low electric fields are applied across the film the current is ohmic and the material is in an almost non-conductive state, in which the resistance is typically in the range 105–107 ohm at room temperature. Above a certain critical voltage the resistance drops drastically and the material switches from a non-conductive to a conductive state, which is maintained at much lower voltages. Two principal forms of switching devices have been developed which are called threshold and memory switches. In the threshold switch the conductive state returns back to its original high resistance state when the current falls below a critical value. In contrast, the memory switch remains in the conductive state even when the applied electric field is reduced to zero.


Hall Mobility Extended State Chalcogenide Glass Hall Coefficient Small Polaron 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Nagels
    • 1
  1. 1.Materials Science DepartmentS.C.K./C.E.N.MolBelgium

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