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On the electronic properties of a single dislocation
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A detailed knowledge of the electronic properties of individual dislocations is necessary for next generation nanodevices. Dislocations are fundamental crystal defects controlling the growth of different nanostructures (nanowires) or appear during device processing. We present a method to record electric properties of single dislocations in thin silicon layers. Results of measurements on single screw dislocations are shown for the first time. Assuming a cross-section area of the dislocation core of about 1 nm2, the current density through a single dislocation is J = 3.8 × 1012 A/cm2 corresponding to a resistivity of ρ ≅ 1 × 10−8 Ω cm. This is about eight orders of magnitude lower than the surrounding silicon matrix. The reason of the supermetallic behavior is the high strain in the cores of the dissociated dislocations modifying the local band structure resulting in high conductive carrier channels along defect cores.
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