The measured volt-ampere and volt-capacitance characteristics, together with the thermal emf of the point contact, form the basis for a discussion of possible models of the rectifying barrier in a contact between metal and electronic gallium arsenide prior to, and at various stages in, electric forming. Prior to forming, current is rectified at the p-n junction in the surface region of the semiconductor. Contact properties do not depend on the metal used. The initial forming pulses destroy the surface film and produce either a Schottky barrier or an abrupt microalloy-type p-n junction. As the forming current increases, diffusion processes play an ever greater role, and a p-n junction with smoothly distributed impurities is created.