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ElectroComponent Science and Technology
Volume 7, Issue 1-3, Pages 39-45

Generalized Theory of Electrical Conductivity and Current Noise for Discontinuous Metal Films Over a Wide Range of Temperatures

1Istituto di Fisica Generale dell'Università di Torino, and G.N.S.M. (U.R.24), Torino, Italy
2Istituto Elettrotecnico Nazionale Galileo Ferraris di Torino, and G.N.S.M. (U.R.24), Torino, Italy
3Istituto di Fisica Sperimentale del Politecnico di Torino, and G.N.S.M. (U.R.24), Torino, Italy
4Istituto Elettrotecnico Nazionale Galileo Ferraris di Torino, and Gruppo Nazionale di Struttura della Materia (G.N.S.M. – U.R.24) del CNR, C. so M. D'Azeglio, Torino 42–10125, Italy

Received 3 July 1979

Copyright © 1980 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A complete discussion with an extension to the high temperature range of the main results of a recent theory1 on the electrical conduction and current noise in discontinuous metal films is given. In this theory the main conduction mechanism is a direct-tunnelling process of the electrons between metal islands within the insulator substrate. The tunnelling electrons must overcome a potential barrier which is temperature dependent. The model assumes that the electrons trapped in surface states can tunnel in the metal states giving rise to a double charge layer at the interface. The current noise is generated by a modulation mechanism of the carrier direct tunnelling due to thermal fluctuation of the potential barrier height, generated by a corresponding fluctuation of the surface charge.

Experimental results for the conductivity and current noise behaviour on Au film deposited on sapphire tube are also given up to a temperature of about 950 K, and interpreted on the basis of the above theory.