Electric currents at semiconductor surfaces from the perspective of drift-diffusion equations
Physical review B
Surface sensitive electric current measurements are important experimental tools poorly corroborated by theoretical models. We show that the drift-diffusion equations offer a framework for a consistent description of such experiments. The current flow is calculated as a perturbation of an equilibrium solution depicting the space charge layer. We investigate the accumulation and inversion layers in great detail. Relying on numerical findings, we identify the proper length parameter, the
... hip of which with the length of the space charge layer is not simple. If the length parameter is large enough, long-ranged modes dominate the Green's function of the current equation, leading to two-dimensional currents. In addition, we demonstrate that the surface behavior of the currents is ruled by only a few parameters. This explains the fact that simplistic conductivity models have proven effective but makes reconstructions of conductance profiles from surface currents rather questionable.