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Journal of Applied Physics

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Silicon diodes -- Effect of temperature on, Silicon -- Electric properties


We analyzed the temperature dependence of the forward current of a silicon diode. Instead of representing the data in the ordinarily used current versus voltage graph, the currents are plotted for different voltages as a function of the inverse temperature. The constant voltage curves can be fitted linearly and the extrapolations of the fits seem to merge to one common focal point. Hence, we demonstrate that a real diode follows the Meyer-Neldel rule (MNR). It is shown that the MNR is due to a shift of the current from ideal-diode to high-injection-diode behavior. We will argue that the merging of the different Arrhenius plots toward one focal point, and hence a MNR, can be the result of various mechanisms. The general requirements to observe a MNR are not very restrictive. It is therefore not surprising that the MNR has been observed in a multitude of systems. The origin that gives rise to the MNR can be manifold and allows for different models to explain its occurrence.


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