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Solid-Safe Electronics Vol. 23, pp.

551-563
Pergamon Press Lid.. 1!%?4l Printed in Great Britain

ANALYSIS OF HALL-PLATE SHAPED VAN DER PAUW

STRUCTURES

W. VERSNEL
Department of Electrical Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, the Netherlands

(Received 20 August 1979; in revised form 19 November 1979)

Abstract-This paper considers circular and rectangular Van der Pauw structures with finite edge contacts, having
two orthogonal axes of symmetry. Using conformal transformations, analytical solutions of the potential problems
have been found. Approximate formulae are also given (a) for the circular sample if the contacts are small, and (b)
for the rectangular sample if one pair of contacts is small and the other pair coincides with the short sides. It is
shown that rectangular Hall plates can be used for measurements of sheet resistance at zero magnetic field. For the
latter case numerical results are tabulated.

INTRODUCTION
In a theoretical study on Hall plates the problem arose,
how the sheet resistance of such plates can be measured
at zero magnetic field. In practice, the rectangular
configuration is often used. In order to prevent unwanted
temperature effects the contacts should be edge contacts
The sheet resistance R, of a homogeneous semi-con-
ducting layer can be measured by means of the method
Fig. 1. Rectangular sample with two orthogonal axes of sym-
of Van der Pauw[l], who analysed structures with four metry. Heavy lines denote contacts which are two by two equal
point contacts on the boundary. Further, analytical in size. I = current: V; = potential of contact i(i = 1, 2,3, 4).
results have been given in[2], where the case of finite
contacts has been treated for samples being invariant for
rotations of 90.
We shall now consider Van der Pauw samples with
another kind of symmetry, viz. with two orthogonal axes
of symmetry. Then, there is always a conformal trans-
formation that maps the structure on the unit circle in
such a way that the symmetry is preserved (see 131,p. 109).
For the sake of simplicity and because of its practical
importance we shall restrict ourselves to a rectangular
shape (see Fig. 1). After the mapping one has to solve the
potential problem of the circular Van der Pauw structure
of Fig. 2. It will be shown that the symmetry of the
sample permits a treatment by means of three separate Fig. 2. Circular structure with two orthogonal axes of symmetry.
structures, each of which having two edge contacts. I = current; V, = potential of contact i(i = 1, 2, 3,4).
It is clear that
4. Numerical results are given if one pair of contacts
V coincides with the short sides of the rectangle. Section 5
R, = Cta,, a+ (1)
I will be devoted to the study of the behaviour of the last
structure when the contacts of the other pair become
where V = V4- V, is the voltage between two adjacent almost point contacts.
voltage contacts and I is the current flowing through the
sample (Fig. 2). The coefficient C(a,, 1~~)depends on the 2. THE CIRCULAR STRUCTURE WITH TWO AXES OF SYMMETRY

angles a, and a2, which are determined by the lengths of From the symmetry of the structure of Fig. 2 it follows
the edge contacts. According to Van der Pauw C(0, that there are two unequal pairs of equal contacts. The
42) = r/in 2, since in that case the terminals are point problem we have to solve is to calculate V,,- V, when a
contacts. current Z flows through such a sample of uniform thick-
In the following section we shall derive a formula for ness d with a specific resistivity p.
the coefficient C(a,, 02). In Section 3 an approximation In Figs. 3(a)-3(c) the same structure is considered.
for C(a,, a2) will be given for the case of small contacts. The current distributions are so chosen that super-
The rectangular structure will be investigated in Section position yields the current distribution of Fig. 2. It

557
558 W. VERSNEL

is evident that Vi = Vi, + Vi, t Vi, where Vj, is the

potential of contact j in Fig. 3(a), Vj2 is the potential of
contact j in Fig. 3(b) etc. (j = 1, 2, 3, 4). Thus we have

Considering first Fig. 3(a), there is an equivalent struc-

ture having only two contacts (see Fig. 4). Since the
potential problem of Fig. 4 is two-dimensional, we may Fig. 5. Mapping of semi-circle in z-plane (Fig. 4) on upper half-
use complex function theory. We now apply the con- plane of t-plane. The points z = z, and z = zz correspond to the
formal transformation[4] points t = I, and I = tz respectively.

Let kr = f~/tr. Since zI = exp (ia,) and z2 = exp (ia?),

one has
by which the structure of Fig. 4 is mapped on the upper
half-plane of the t-plane (Fig. 5). Here f is the complex COsa2
k, =- (3)
conjugate of z. The points z = 0, z = I, z = z,, z = zz cos a,
correspond to t = point at infinity, t = 1, t = t,, t = t2
respectively. The solution of the potential problem of the structure in
the t-plane is well known (similar problems are treated in
[2, 5, 61). It is found that

V,, - V3,
-=__ p K(k,)
I
(4)
40 K(k,)

where K(k) is the complete elleptic integral of the first

t kind with argument k, and K(k)= K(k,), k, being
-k defined by kc = (1 - k2)2. Note that the values of p and
d should not be changed during the conformal trans-
formation.
Analogously, for the structure of Fig. 3(b) one finds

v,, =P KW
(5)
I 4d K(b)

where

k2 = 2
sin a
sin a2
(6)

b c
It is clear from the symmetry that it is sufficient to
Fig. 3. Reduction to three simpler potential problems. Super- consider only one quarter of the structure of Fig. 3(c)
position of the current distribution yields the current distribution (see Fig. 6). Again, the number of contacts is reduced
of Fig. 2.
from 4 to 2. By the conformal transformation

w= ;z12+1
z-mane
zz-I
the structure of Fig. 6 is mapped on the first quadrant of
the complex w-plane (Fig. 7). The points z = 0, z = 1,
l/2 I z = zI, z = z2, z = i correspond to w = i, w = point at
1 v,l
infinity, w = wI =cotan a,, w = w,=cotan a2, w =0
=2
respectively. By doubling the structure of Fig. 7 a sample
02 =, is obtained that covers the whole upper half-plane of a
complex t-plane (Fig. 8). It is evident that t = w as far as
31
a
01 Let k, = fz/tl. Then one finds
l/2 I
t

Fig. 4. Semi-circle with two unequal contacts but with one axis of
k, = E= k,k, (8)
symmetry. 1
Analysis of Hall-plate shaped Van der Pauw structures 559

z-plane
aa,, n/2 -80,l

t
9-

6-

Fig. 6. Sample covering one quarter of unit circle with two

7-
unequal contacts.

e
w-plone
6-
/
I

/
5-

1w,
I WI
t 4
l/4 i l/4 I

L-L
Fig. 7. First quadrant of complex w-plane. The points z = I, and
z = z2 correspond to the points w = w, and w = w? respectively.

t-plane

0
-
IO 20 33 40-
aI
(degrees)

Fig. 9. Coefficient Cta,. (1/2)r - Ba,) versus angle (I, for circular
structure of Fig. 2. The parameter B is the ratio of the lengths of
the contacts 2 and I. Each curve has an asymptote defined by
a, = !N/(E t I) degrees.

Fig. 8. Structure obtained by doubling structure of Fig. 7. The

points f = t, and t = t? correspond to w = w, and w = w2respec-
tively. 3.APPROXlMATlONM)RSMALLCONTACTS
We are interested in the behaviour of the coefficient
C(a,, a*) for al = e and a2 = (1/2)7r- Be, where E tends
to zero (see Fig. 2). Then from (3), (6) and (8) one obtains
Va - Va
-_=-- P K(kd

I 4d K(b)
(9)
k,=Bc[l+s(;-\$))

From (2), (4), (5) and (9) we derive the following theorem
for R, = p/d; k2=+++&;))

V
Rs = Cb,, (YZ)- (10) k, = Be* 1+ \$(I+ I?)).
I

where It is known that if k i 0([7], p. 171)

C(a
I,
a
2
) = 4

c K(h)+ KW
K(k,) K(k,)-K(k,)
KW -
1 (1)

The arguments k,, kz, t are given by formulae (3), (6) and
and (8) respectively, and V = V, - V,.
Let B be equal to the ratio of the lengths of the
contacts 2 and 1 (see Fig. 2). Then a2 =(1/2)rr-Bar. k*
The function C(ar, (1/2)7r-Bar) has been calculated
from (3), (6), (8) and (11). It is represented in Fig. 9
as a function of al, where E is a parameter. Each of the +...
curves has an asymptote defined by aI = (l/2)6(8 + 1).
560 W. VERSNEL

It follows that I- plane t- Diane

Ko=2,n4-L/+1!!k4+. (k LOI
K(k) r k2a 1~64

Then

K(kd K(kz) K(k,)

Fig. IO. Conformal mapping of rectangle on unit circle. The

points z = 1, z = z,, z = z2.z = z) correspondto the points t = I,
t = t,, t = t2,I = t, = exp(icr) respectively.

Using (1 I), it is found that

This can be derived from expression 3.164 no. 1 of
Gradshteyn et al. [9], p. 259, which is correct apart from
C(s (1/2)7r- Br) = & t @& (I t By (E-4
a factor (l/2). Assuming z = zI corresponds to t = t, =
exp(iaJ, it follows that
= 4.532 t 0.817(1 t B2)c2 (e-0). (13)
11
Expression (13) is equivalent to eqn (14) on page 8 of [I].
This is easily understood in view of the fact that relative
z,=ltA(a)
II
dp[{p* - exp(2ia)}{p2- exp(- 2ia)j]-2.

errors in the specific resistivity p, introduced by small Let us choose the part of integration in the t-plane along
contacts, are to a first approximation additive (see [l]). the arc of the unit circle from 1 to t,. Put p = exp(\$).
For equal contacts i? = 1; Then, one finds

I0

Substituting uz = cos(24) - cos(2a), one has

where p is the ratio between the sum of the lengths of
the contacts and the length of the boundary of the unit
circle; ,u = 4 E/P. The result (14) has already been z,=1+(1/2)d2 A( bdu[il+Cos(2a)+u2Hl
I
obtained earlier [2] in a different way. - cos(2a) - u2}]- (17)
Formula (13) is accurate within 0.5% for E less than 19,
13,9,7 and 6 respectively, if B is equal to 1,2,3,4 and with
5 respectively. The sum of the contacts then cover,
roughly estimated, up to 40% of the total boundary. Mind a = {cos(2a,) - COS(~~)}(~)and b = { 1 - cos(2a)}2.
that in formula (13) e has to be expressed in radians.
Using formula 3.152 no. 4 of Gradshteyn et al. (see [9], p.
245), it is easy to obtain from (16) and (17)
4. THE RECTANGLE
We shall now consider a sample in the form of a z = , + i Rx,
I
a)sin (18)
rectangle with two pairs of equal contacts (Fig. I). First K(cos a)
it is mapped on the unit circle (Fig. 10). If a is the
argument of t = f3 that corresponds to z = z~, the trans- where
formation is [8]
cos(2a,) - cos(2r) (I*) sin a,
z=A
t
dp[b* - exp(2iaXp - exp(- 2ia}]m*
x = arccos
1 I- cos(2a) I
= arcsin 7
( sm a >

(15) The function F(4, k) is the elliptic integral of the first

kind with argument (b and modulus k.
where it is assumed that z = 0 is mapped on t = 0 and the Assuming z = z2 corresponds to t = fZ= exp(ia&
integration constant A is determined by the choice .z= 1 where uz> a, one can calculate the value of zz in a
if t = I. If the imaginary part Z{zj}of zs is less than one, similar way, but now by applying formula 3.152 no. 3 of
then a < ?r/4. Since the integral in (IS) for t = 1 equals [91
(l/Z)K(cos a), one obtains
zz = , _ F(4, cosa) + j KM a)
(19)
A = A(a) = 2/K(cos a). (16) K(cos a) K(cos a)
Analysis of Hall-plateshapedVan der Pauw structures 561
where I- olane

II, = arcsin(cos(2a) = arccOStan

- cos(2a2)}(12)
q2 co5 cr sin (Ye ( tan a2>

Considering the particular case that z, = zj (see Fig.

11). it follows that a, = a. Then, from (18) one finds

z,=l+iH. (20)

In order to obtain numerical results for the structure of

Fig. 11,one first has to calculate the angles a and az. Let
Fig. I I. Rectangle with two contacts equal to the short sides.
t =x t iy. From (20) it is seen that a satisfies the equa-
tion

K(sin a)
= K(cos a)
(21)

Since y, is known, the angle a is obtained easily by

applying the Regula Falsi, a procedure for computing a
root of a mathematical equation[lO]. In the case of eqn
(21) it is not dilIicult to see that there is only one root a
in the interval (0, 7r/2). From (19) one derives, if w =
(1 -x,) K(cos a)

where sn(w, k) is a Jacobian eliptic function with

argument w and modulus k. From (22) the value of rj can
be calculatedt. Further, one finds

a2 = arcsIn
.C
j-qcos2 a Sin2 \$
1
= arctan -
( cos (I) .
(23)

Let us define D(x2: y,) for the rectangle in Fig. I1 by the

equation

0 0.5 - 1.0
x2
f = D(x2; y,)v.
Fig. 12. Coefficient D(x,; y,) versus x2 for rectangle of Fig. I I.
Parameter y, = 0.5.
It will then be clear (see [2]) that

Dl'xz;yd= C(a,, a2). (24) 5.THERECTANCLEWITHONEPAIROFSMALLCONTACTS

In this section we shall investigate the behaviour of
Having obtained the values of al and a2 from (21) and D(x2; y,), if x2 tends to zero (see Fig. 12). Let x2 = 8,
(23), the function D(x2; y,) can be calculated from (3), where 8 is a small positive number. Then one has (see
(6), (8), (11) and (24). For example if xz = 0.4 and y, = the definition of w given just before formula 22)
OS, one finds from (21) that a, =9.879 and from (23)
that a2 = 32.46.Then, in this case D(x2; y,) = 5.771. The w = (1 - 6) K(COSa). (25)
function D(x2; y,) is represented in Fig. 12 for y, =0.5.
In the next Section an approximative formula for D(x2; We now need some properties of the Jacobian elliptic
y,) will be derived, which is suited for p&tical ap- functions. One of the addition theorems is ([ll], p. 496)
plications.
snucnvdnvtsnvcnudnu
sn(u t v) = (26)
l-k2sn2usn2v
tFor the Regula Falsi, the Jacobian elliptic function sn(u, k)
and the complete elliptic integral of the first kind K(k) (see also
(II) and (16)) standard routines were available, with which the Moreover ([111,p. 499),
numerical calculations were carried out on a Burroughs 7700
computer. snK=I;cnK=O.
562 W. VERSNEL

Further ([ll], p. 504), the following expressions will be From (12) one derives
applied
K(k,) K(kd 2 k3 1
---=;lnz-2--(k,- k,2)t.. .
KM K(k,)
sn(u,k)=u-(l+k\$+... (u +O) (27)
=\$lnsinat\$t... (e -10). (33)
cn(u,k)=l-& (u +O) (28)
Finally, taking into account formulae (ll), (24), (30),
dn(u,k)=l-y+... (u -+O). (29) (32) and (33), and observing that x2 = 6, it is not difficult to
derive

mx2; Yl)=gl(Yd+g2(Y,)xz (XzL0) (34)

Using (25), (26), . . . , (29) in (22) and (23), after some
straightforward calculations one obtains
where g,(yJ = 4/h,(a) and g*(y,) = 4 h~(a)/{kl(a)I*, the
functions h,(a) and h,(a) being defined by
sin a2 = 1 -(l/2) 6 co? a{K(cos a)P (8 JO).

Put c=(1/2)7r-a*. Then h,(a)=2]n

sina +_K(sina)
7r K(sin a)
e = S cos a K(cos a). (30)

Since ([ll], p. 521)

h*(a) = (1/2){f(a)w-!-]cos a{ K(cos a)12.

For numerical purposes we shall write (34) in another

form. Let g3(y) = y*g,(y). Then (34) yields
where E(k) is the complete elliptic integral of the second
kind with argument k, and since K(k) = K(k,) where
&x2; YI)=gl(Yl)+gl(YI)(x2lY~)* (35)
kZ+ kC2= 1, one obtains by straightforward calculations
(X2 J 0).

Numerical calculations were carried out for several values

of the parameter y,. The results are listed in Table I.
Column 2 contains the values of a in radians cor-
responding to those of y,. Columns 3 and 4 represent the
(31) coefficients of the parabolic expression (35). The last
column yields the maximum value of x2/y,, for which the
The result (31) enables us to find an expression which
is a good approximation of D(x2; y,), if xz = S tends to approximation (35) of D(xz; y,) is accurate within 0.5%.
zero. Since a = a, and aI = (l/2)9 - e, one obtains from
(6)
In practice, in order to obtain good contacts to the
kZ= sin a(1 t (1/2)e*t. . .). sample, one can use a technique similar to the one
described in [ 121.
Applying (31), it is easily seen that It is evident from the solution given in Section 2 for
the circular structure, how the potential problem can be
solved, if currents are flowing through all four contacts.
~=~{l-(l/2)e2f(a)} (32)
Table 1. R, = DV/I; D = g, + g,(xJy\$ (see Fig. 12)
with

0.4 0.07877 4.537 2.028 0.50

Further, it follows from (3) and (8) that
0.5 0.1724 4.557 2.069 0.52

0.8 0.5470 4.197 2.595 0.58

and
0.9 0.6707 4.948 2.938 0.47

I.0 0.7854 5.132 3.371 0.40

k,=tana(rt:t...). (~10)
Analysis of Hall-plate shaped Van der Pauw structures 563

In that case, too, the same reduction to three simpler results are represented in Table 1 in a form which is
potential problems can be carried out (see Fig. 3). The suited for direct application.
only modification is that now, in general, each current is
unequal to (l/2)1. It is clear that this statement is also Acknowledgemen&-The author is indebted to Professor H.
true of the rectangular sample. Groendijk for several discussions and important suggestions.
In principal, the method of analysis as given in Section
4 in the case of a rectangle can be applied to other REFERENCES
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samples having a polygon as a boundary and two ortho-
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formation of such a structure on the unit circle can be Abbildungipringer, Berlin (1959).
calculated analytically[8]. But, in most cases one has to 4. E. C. Titchmarsh. The Theorv of Functions. 2nd Edn.
p. 1%. Oxford University Press:Ldndon (l%O).
solve a new problem, the so-called parameter problem
5. P. Moon and D. E. Spencer, Field Theory Handbook. p. 71.
(see [3], p. 149, which, however, is beyond the scope of Springer, Berlin (1971).
this paper. 6. W. R. Smythe, Static and Dynamic Electricity, p. 100.
McGraw-Hill, New York (I%@.
7.CONCLUSION 7. H. B. Dwight, Tables of Integrals and other Mathematical
Data. Macmillan, New York (1957).
Circular and rectangular Van der Pauw structures have
8. E. Durand, Electrostatique, Tome 2. Problimes Gbbraux
been investigated. The symmetry enabled us to obtain Conducfeurs. p. 329. Masson, Paris (1966).
analytical solutions, by which the sheet resistance can be 9. 1. S. Gradshteyn and I. M. Ryzhik, Table of Integrals, Series
calculated using relatively simple numerical calculations. and Products. Academic Press. New York (1%5).
10. P. Henrici,Elements of Numerical Analysis,p. 87. Wiley, New
Moreover, analytical approximation formulae have also
York (1964).
been obtained. We would mention particularly the Il. E. T. Whittaker and G. N. Watson, A Course of Modem
parabolic expression (39, which relates to a Hall-plate Analysis, 4th Edn. University Press, Cambridge (1952).
shaped Van der Pauw structure (see Fig. 12). Numerical 12. R. C. Booth, Electronics Lett. 12,221 (1976).