This paper presents the results of an experimental study designed to explore both qualitatively and quantitatively the mechanism of the improved current gain in bipolar transistors with polysilicon emitter contacts. Polysilicon contacts were deposited and heat treated at different conditions. The electrical properties were measured using p-n junction test structures that are much more sensitive to the contact properties than are bipolar transistors. A simple phenomenological model was used to correlate the structural properties with electrical measurements. Possible transport mechanisms are examined and estimates are made about upper bounds on transport parameters in the principal regions of the devices. The main conclusion of this study is that the minority-carrier transport in the poly crystalline silicon is dominated by a highly disordered layer at the poly silicon-monosilicon interface characterized by very low minority-carrier mobility. The effective recombination velocity at the n+ polysilicon-n+ monosilicon interface was found to be a strong function of fabrication conditions. The results indicate that the recombination velocity can be much smaller than 104 cm/s. © 1985 IEEE.