Surface Treatment on Silicon Field-Emission Cathodes

Abstract

Arrays and single-tip p-type silicon micro-emitters have been formed using a subtractive tip fabrication technique. Following fabrication, several different surface treatments have been attempted for comparison. We utilized ion and electron bombardment at elevated pressures (with interrupted pumping), and also hydrogen seasoning during field emission operation. The objectives of these treatments include stabilization of the emission, lowering the effective workfunction, and reducing low-frequency noise. The tips were evaluated using I-V measurements in the diode configuration. A flat Si anode, spaced nominally 6 μm and 150 μm from the cathode, was used. For the purpose of treatment, the field emission characteristics are measured in a high vacuum chamber at a pressure range between 10−5 and 10−8 Torr. The results suggest that the emitters benefit from seasoning or conditioning, for optimal performance, low noise, minimum work function and maximum reproducibility and reliability over the lifetime of the cathode.

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Correspondence to M. Hajra.

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Hajra, M., Chubun, N.N., Chakhovskoi, A.G. et al. Surface Treatment on Silicon Field-Emission Cathodes. MRS Online Proceedings Library 621, 141 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1557/PROC-621-R1.4.1

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