We have studied PbTe films of thicknessd=200/10000 A made with telluride vapour deposition on glass substrate at room temperature. The estimate of the donor concentration ∼1019 cm−3 of the fresh-deposited film compared with the impurity content in the bulk raw material ∼1017 cm−3 shows that the donors were mainly film defects or nonstoichiometric Pb atoms. Electrical conductivity of the freshly deposited film increased with lowering of the temperature. After deposition the donors were compensated with an oxidation in the laboratory air. Transition to the thermally activated conductivity resulted from oxidation. At temperatures belowT≈100 K the resistance of the compensated films followed Mott’s ruleR=R0 exp(T0/T)1/3. The square film value 1 Mohm andT0≈100 K ford=1000 A.
At low temperatures an exposure to light resulted in sharp decrease of the film resistance. At liquid helium temperatures the resistance dropped 103–106 times and stayed at the low value for an indeterminate time. The heating of the film aboveT=100 K gave rise to an initial high resistive state. The critical temperatureTc, when the frozen photoconductivity became negligible, varied with samples in the temperature region 90–120 K. Near the critical temperature we could measure the time dependence of the film resistance after the light exposure, which followed the equationR=A+B.lnt fort>1 sec with the empirical constantsA andB. After a time intervalτ the resistance gained the initial “dark” value and remained stationary. The value lnτ≈α.(Tc−T), where the factorα approximately wasα≈0.5 K−1.
Some results of these experiments were published earlier (Krylov and Nadgorny 1982; Krylov and Pojarkov 1984).