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Structure and principle of operation
The structure of a metal-semiconductor junction is shown in Figure. It consists of a metal contacting a piece of semiconductor. An ideal Ohmic contact, a contact such that no potential exists between the metal and the semiconductor, is made to the other side of the semiconductor.
Structure and sign convention of a metal-semiconductor junction
The barrier height. fB. .Flatband diagram and built-in potential Energy band diagram of the metal and the semiconductor before (a) and after (b) contact is made. is defined as the potential difference between the Fermi energy of the metal and the band edge where the majority carriers reside. Here ΦM is the work function of the metal and χ is the electron affinity.
In addition. . φI. we define the built-in potential.built-in potential A metal-semiconductor junction will therefore form a barrier for electrons and holes if the Fermi energy of the metal as drawn on the flatband diagram is somewhere between the conduction and valence band edge. as the difference between the Fermi energy of the metal and that of the semiconductor.