In this paper, the influence of the microstructure of a metal on the breakdown mechanism of diodes with a Schottky barrier is studied. It is shown that in electronic processes occurring in the contact between a metal and a semiconductor, the metal plays a very active role and is a more important contact partner than a semiconductor. Unlike the known mechanisms of breakdown of diodes (avalanche, tunnel and thermal), another mechanism is proposed in this paper - the geometric mechanism of the reverse current flow of Schottky diodes made using a metal with a polycrystalline structure. The polycrystallinity of a metal transforms a homogeneous contact into a complex system, which consists of parallel-connected multiple elementary contacts having different properties and parameters.
Schottky diode, Metal-semiconductor contact, Interface, Barrier height, Breakdown voltage