Eur. Phys. J. Appl. Phys.
Volume 64, Number 3, December 2013
|Number of page(s)||5|
|Section||Surfaces and Interfaces|
|Published online||09 December 2013|
Electrical contact resistance of a thin oxide layer with a low mechanical load
Department of Physics and Astronomy, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-747, Republic of Korea
2 Department of Electrical Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Daejeon 305-701, Republic of Korea
a e-mail: email@example.com
Revised: 22 May 2013
Accepted: 16 September 2013
Published online: 9 December 2013
The electrical contact resistance of a vertical binary contact between stainless steel balls with a low mechanical load was investigated. Using a statistical approach, we measured the voltage at which the dielectric breakdown occurs within a thin surface oxide layer and the distribution of the contact resistance. Electrical load-bearing conduction through a thin insulating layer was found to occur through two possible sequential processes. In both cases, once a conduction path is formed, the melting of bridges as in conventional contact theory is involved. This suggests that conduction through an oxide layer with a low mechanical load depends mainly on breakdown-induced bridges. Furthermore, the distribution of such path’s resistance shows the log-normal distribution with a long tail toward high resistance.
© EDP Sciences, 2013
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