A quantitative model of the electrical activity of metallic precipitates in Si is formulated with an emphasis on the Schottky junction effects of the precipitate-Si system. Carrier diffusion and carrier drift in the Si space charge region are accounted for. Carrier recombination is attributed to the thermionic emission mechanism of charge transport across the Schottky junction rather than the surface recombination. It is shown that the precipitates can have a very large minority carrier capture cross-section. Under weak carrier generation conditions, the supply of minority carriers is found to be the limiting factor of the recombination process. The plausibility of the model is demonstrated by a comparison of calculated and available experimental results. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.