The peak-to-valley ratio of AlSb–InAs resonant tunneling diodes decreases as the diameter of the diode decreases due to the surface current. To clarify the origin of the surface current, we studied AlSb–InAs single-barrier diodes with various diameters and barrier thicknesses at various temperatures. We conclude from experimentally obtained results that bulk current is caused by tunneling through an AlSb barrier influenced by the band structure and surface current is caused by an electron emission from band-gap surface states at the AlSb barrier based on the Poole–Frenkel mechanism with ionization energy of 0.24 eV.

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