The physics of minority-carrier injection into polysilicon-contacted emitters has been studied through a series of experiments correlating the base current of the transistor to the structure of the polysilicon/single-crystal silicon interface. Most of the relevant material and processing parameters have been examined. In addition, a novel approach has been taken in the modeling of transport in these emitters to quantify the minority-carrier blocking properties of the polysilicon contacts. Experimental results show that extremely low values of base current can be obtained for devices etched in HF prior to the polysilicon deposition, i.e., devices with only a remnant “native” oxide layer at the polysilicon/single-crystal silicon interface. For these devices, the base current is mainly determined by the recombination and blocking of minority carriers at the polysilicon/monosilicon interface. A number of competing mechanisms exist in several domains of doping, temperature, and time which influence the properties of this interface. One of these mechanisms is the blocking of minority carriers by the native oxide layer itself. The uniformity and, consequently, the blocking characteristics of this layer were found to be strongly affected by the polysilicon doping level and thermal treatment. Copyright © 1986 by The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.