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The Gunn-Hilsum Effect

The Gunn-Hilsum Effect

Melvin Shaw


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The Gunn-Hilsum Effect covers the physical principles controlling the operation of transferred electron devices. These devices have been proven quite useful in the generation, amplification, and processing of microwave signals well into tens of gigahertz range. Organized into seven chapters, the book focuses on the analytical and numerical approaches of the two vital aspects of device behavior for a given bulk semiconductor: boundary conditions or contacts and the local circuit environment.
The opening chapter of this book discusses the negative differential mobility (NDM) characteristics for a range of electric fields in the velocity-field relation of specific semiconductors and the response of such a sample to a charge fluctuation, leading to the growth of stationary and/or traveling high electric field domains. The next two chapters describe how the boundary conditions and the circuit control the manifestation of current instabilities in such systems and how this control can be understood in a simple manner. Chapters 4 and 5 discuss the numerical and experimental investigations of comparatively long bulk samples, with an emphasis on the essential NDM semiconductor n-GaAs. These chapters also examine the production of different current-voltage relationships and instabilities by cathode contacts and the control of the oscillatory characteristics of an electrically unstable sample by different circuit conditions. Chapter 6 presents both time-independent and time-dependent computations, with the latter focusing on the small-signal impedance and stability aspects. The last chapter of this book addresses the construction and evaluation of typical short devices, describes how their oscillatory characteristics compare with the long samples studied in the first six chapters, and discusses the use of short devices as amplifiers.
This book is an ideal source for device engineers and designers wishing to apply transferred electron devices in creative ways.