Hot electron effects on the operation of potential well barrier diodes

M. Akura*, G. Dunn, M. Missous

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A study has just been carried out on hot electron effects in GaAs/Al0.3Ga0.7As potential well barrier (PWB) diodes using both Monte Carlo (MC) and drift-diffusion (DD) models of charge transport. We show the operation and behaviour of the diode in terms of electric field, mean electron velocity and potential, mean energy of electrons and Γ-valley population. The MC model predicts lower currents flowing through the diode due to back scattering at anode (collector) and carrier heating at higher bias. At a bias of 1.0 V, the current density obtained from experimental result, MC and DD simulation models are 1.35, 1.12 and 1.77 μA/μm2 respectively. The reduction in current over conventional model, is compensated to a certain extent because less charge settles in the potential well and so the barrier is slightly reduced. The DD model results in higher currents under the same bias and conditions. However, at very low bias specifically, up to 0.3 V without any carrier heating effects, the DD and MC models look pretty similar as experimental results. The significant differences observed in the I-V characteristics of the DD and MC models at higher biases confirm the importance of energy transport when considering these devices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number122101
JournalJournal of Semiconductors
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Chinese Institute of Electronics.


  • back scattering
  • carrier heating
  • electron energy
  • Monte Carlo model
  • non-stationary fields


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