A revision of the standard approach to characterization of thin-semiconductor-layer Hall samples has been proposed. Our results show that simple checking of I(V) curve linearity at room temperature might be insufficient for correct determination of bias conditions of a sample before measurements of Hall effect. It is caused by the nonlinear behaviour of electrical contact layers, which should be treated together with the tested layer a priori as a metal-semiconductor-metal (MSM) structure. Our approach was examined with a Be-doped p-type InAs epitaxial layer, with four gold contacts. Despite using full high-quality photolithography a significant asymmetry in maximum differential resistance (Rd) values and positions relative to zero voltage (or current) value was observed for different contacts. This suggests that such characterization should be performed before each high-precision magneto-transport measurement in order to optimize the bias conditions.
In this study, variations in the contact resistance of electroplated Au-Fe alloy layers with Fe content were investigated. The contact resistance of electroplated Au-Fe alloy layers that were subject to thermal aging at 260°C in the atmosphere, tended to increase significantly with an increase in the Fe content. Through an analysis method employing X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS/ ESCA) and Auger electron spectroscopy (AES), Ni oxides, such as NiO and Ni2O3, on the surface of the thermally aged electroplated Au-Fe alloy layers were observed. It is believed that the Ni oxide existing on the surface diffused from the underlying electroplated Ni layers to the surface through the grain boundaries in the electroplated Au-Fe layers during the thermal aging. As the Fe content in the electroplated Au-Fe layers increased, the grain size decreased. As the grain size decreases, more Ni oxide was detected on the surface. Therefore, with a rise in the Fe content, more Ni diffuses to the surface via grain boundaries, and more Ni oxide is formed on the surface of the electroplated Au-Fe layers, increasing the contact resistance of the electroplated Au-Fe alloy layers.
This paper presents technological trials aimed at producing Ag-W, Ag-WC, Ag-W-C and Ag-WC-C composite contact materials and characterizing their properties. These materials were obtained using two methods, i.e. press-sinter-repress (PSR) at the refractory phase content of less than 30% by weight as well as press-sinter-infiltration (PSI) at the refractory phase content of ≥50% by weight). The results of research into both the physical and electrical properties of the outcome composites were shown. They include the analysis of the influence of the refractory phase content (W or WC) on arc erosion and contact resistance changes for the following current range: 6 kAmax in the case of composites with a low refractory phase content, 10 kAmax in the case of composites with the refractory phase content of ≥50% by weight.