Programmable devices based on current induced conductivity in amorphous silicon alloys

J. M. Shannon, Shu Ping Lau, A. D. Annis, B. J. Sealy

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


This article describes the phenomenon of current induced conductivity in hydrogenated amorphous silicon alloys and how the effect can be used to change the electrical characteristics of metal-semiconductor-metal structures. It is shown that current induced conductivity is consistent with the generation of silicon dangling bond states which form a defect band with the rate of generation driven by the energy released during hole-electron recombination. The defect states can be annealed out and the device returned to its original condition. Measurements show that the conductivity of devices can be changed in a predictable way by current stressing or annealing and the strong current dependence of defect formation enables the low field conductivity to be measured without changing its magnitude. Extensive work with devices made from silicon-rich silicon nitride indicates that current induced conductivity can be used in programmable devices or sensors but writing speeds are slow when large changes in conductivity are required. The phenomenon is therefore more suited to parallel architectures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-99
Number of pages9
JournalSolid-State Electronics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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