[en] Interface states ; Heterojunction ; Electrical conduction
[en] Electrical conduction in semiconductor heterojunctions containing defect states in the interface region is studied. As the classical drift-diffusion mechanism cannot in any case explain electrical conduction in semiconductor heterojunctions, tunnelling involving interface states is often considered as a possible conduction path. A theoretical treatment is made where defect states in the interface region with a continuous energy distribution are included. Electrical conduction through this defect band then allows the transit of electrons from the conduction band of one semiconductor to the valence band of the second component. The analysis is initiated by electrical measurements on n-CdS/p-CdTe heterojunctions obtained by chemical vapour deposition of CdS on (111) oriented CdTe single crystals, for which current--voltage and capacitance--frequency results are shown. The theoretical analysis is based on the numerical resolution of Poisson's equation and the continuity equations of electrons, holes and defect states, where a current component corresponding to the defect band conduction is explicitly included. Comparison with the experimental curves shows that this formalism yields an efficient tool to model the conduction process through the interface region. It also allows us to determine critical values of the physical parameters when a particular step in the conduction mechanism becomes dominant.