CNT field emission cell with built-in electron beam source for electron stimulated amplified field emission
Carbon Nanotube (CNT) is an emerging form of carbon nanostructure, vastly expanding its utility for several applications ranging from electronics to tribology. CNT is an excellent material for electron field emission due to its high aspect ratio, robust mechanical and chemical properties, high thermal conductivity, and ability to withstand high temperature and ion bombardment. This research is focused on the fabrication and characterization of a novel CNT field emission cell with a built-in electron beam source for electron excited amplified field emission. In brief, reliable and consistent process techniques have been developed to grow aligned CNTs under different growing conditions using MPCVD. This process was integrated in the fabrication of monolithic lateral field emission cell (FEC) in diode configuration with a built-in electron beam source. Field emission behaviors with and without activation of the built-in electron beam were characterized. A high voltage of 1.8 kV was applied to generate the bombarding electron beam on the FEC. The emission current of the FEC increases markedly with the activation of the electron beam source due to impact ionization and direct interaction with the FEC CNT cathode. The emission behaviors were confirmed by F-N plots. It was found that ~ 10 times current amplification was achieved. These results demonstrate the feasibility of a novel means of power generation using electron stimulated impact ionization field emission.