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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A theoretical study of magnetic self-pinching in a semiconductor Strome, William Murray


The subject of this thesis is the theoretical investigation of the possibility of observing magnetic self-pinching of the hole-electron plasma present in a semiconductor. The steady-state pinch equations are derived for conditions which might be expected to prevail in such a plasma, both with and without the effects of generation and recombination. Recent reports of the observance of pinch effect in indium antimonide operated under avalanche breakdown conditions are discussed. All these reports based their claim of observing pinch on slight changes in overall resistance of the sample, a purely secondary effect of self- pinching. It is indicated that a plasma generated by avalanching is a poor medium from which to compare experimental results with available theory. Hence it is concluded that the above reports offer only circumstantial evidence of self-pinching. Finally, an experimental arrangement is suggested with which one should be able to determine unambiguously whether or not pinch can occur in semiconductors.

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