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Published December 28, 1988 | public
Journal Article Open

Electrical determination of the valence-band discontinuity in HgTe-CdTe heterojunctions


Current-voltage behavior is studied experimentally in a Hg0.78Cd0.22Te-CdTe-Hg0.78Cd0.22Te heterostructure grown by molecular beam epitaxy. At temperatures above 160 K, energy-band diagrams suggest that the dominant low-bias current is thermionic hole emission across the CdTe barrier layer. This interpretation yields a direct determination of 390±75 meV for the HgTe-CdTe valence-band discontinuity at 300 K. Similar analyses of current-voltage data taken at 190–300 K suggest that the valence-band offset decreases at low temperatures in this heterojunction.

Additional Information

Copyright © 1988 American Institute of Physics. Received 17 August 1987; accepted 22 October 1987. We wish to acknowledge S. Nieh fo providing us with important TEM data, and O.J. Marsh, T.K. Woodward, and M.B. Johnson for valuable discussions and assistance. This work was supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency under contract No. N00014-86-K-0841 and No. F49620-87-C-0021. One of us (DHC) received financial support from International Business Machines Corporation.


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