Various experimental techniques for point contact production are described. Examples of point-contact spectra are presented for pure metals, alloys and compounds, as well as for semimetals and semiconductors, heavy fermion systems, Kond-lattices, mixed valence compounds and more. Superconducting point contacts are considered in respect to Andreev reflection and Josephson effects. Special attention is paid to contact conductance fluctuation, and new trends of research are outlined.
Both authors are affiliated with the B. Verkin Institute for Low Temperatire Physics and Engineering, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.
1 Introduction.- 2 Metallic point contacts as a physical tool.- 3 Fundamentals of PCS theory.- 4 Experimental techniques.- 5 PCS of quasiparticle excitations.- 6 PCS of nonphononic scattering mechanisms.- 7 Thermal effects in point contacts.- 8 Point contacts in the magnetic field.- 9 Electrical fluctuations in point contacts.- 10 Point contacts under irradiation.- 11 PCS of semimetals, semiconductors, and dielectrics.- 12 PCS of superconductors.- 13 PCS of high-Tc and other uncommon superconductors.- 14 PCS of heavy-fermion systems.- 15 New trends in research.