A Schottky barrier is a junction between a metal and a semiconductor, which exhibits rectifying characteristics. A Schottky barrier has a very fast switching action and low forward voltage drop of about 0.3 volts, compared with 0.6 volts in silicon diodes, which use adjacent p-type (positive) and n-type (negative) semiconductors. A Schottky barrier as a device on its own is known as a Schottky diode.
A bipolar junction transistor with a Schottky barrier between the base and the collector is known as a Schottky transistor. Because the junction voltage of the Schottky barrier is small, the transistor is prevented from saturating too deeply, which improves the speed when used as a switch. This is the basis for the Schottky and Advanced Schottky TTL families, as well as their low power variants.