Special Issue "Field Emission from Graphene and other Nanostructures"

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Nanotechnology and Applied Nanosciences".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2018).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Antonio Di Bartolomeo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Physics E. R. Caianiello, Università di Salerno, Salerno, Italy
Interests: optical and electrical properties of carbon nanotubes, graphene, and 2D materials; semiconductor heterojunctions and their application as photodetectors, solar cells, and chemical sensors; Van der Waals heterojunctions of 2D-layered materials; field-effect transistors; tunneling transistors; nonvolatile memories; CMOS technologies; solid-state radiation detectors; field emission
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The extraction of electrons from a conducting material by an external electric field, known as field emission (FE), is an interesting quantum–mechanical phenomenon, which has many practical applications. High-current and long-lifetime electron sources based on FE, so-called cold-cathodes, have been exploited in high-power and microwave vacuum electronic devices, flat panel displays, scanning and transmission electron microscopy, electron-beam lithography, electric propulsion systems, etc.

Ideal field emitters have a high current at low extraction field for low voltage applications as well as robustness and thermal stability for steady and long-lifetime emission. The lowering of the threshold voltage for FE is achieved using materials with low-workfunction, as well as materials with very rough surface or terminated in sharp tips to benefit from the local field amplification. The field enhancement is due to the convergence of the electric field lines on the sharp features of the conducting surface. Hence, materials naturally shaped or artificially patterned to have protrusions with high aspect ratio (such as nanotubes and nanowires, graphene and other 2D materials, or nanoparticles and nanotips) are suitable for FE. Furthermore, robustness against high current flow requires materials with high electrical and thermal conductivity.  

The availability in the past two decades of new nanostructured materials and improved nano-patterning techniques has considerably boosted the research in FE materials and devices. A variety of novel cold-cathodes based on new nanostructured or nanofabricated materials has been added to the traditional Spindt-type field emitters, based on microfabricated Mo tips, and to the Si microtips developed in the early 1970s. These new cold cathodes include carbon nanotubes, graphene, nanodiamonds, semiconducting or metallic nanoparticles and nanowires, nanocones, etc.

This Special Issue, “Field Emission from Graphene and other Nanostructures” of Applied Sciences includes both fundamental studies and applications. It aims at covering all recent experimental and theoretical work on electron field emission from carbon-based and other nanostructured materials.

Prof. Dr. Antonio Di Bartolomeo
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • Field emission (FE)
  • Cold cathode
  • Field enhancement
  • Fowler-Nordheim tunneling
  • Nanotips
  • Vacuum electronics
  • FE displays
  • FE x-ray generation
  • FE electron microscopy
  • FE electron beam lithography
  • FE electric propulsion

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Controllable Synthesis of Special Reed-Leaf-Like Carbon Nanostructures Using Copper Containing Catalytic Pyrolysis for High-Performance Field Emission
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(3), 440; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9030440 - 28 Jan 2019
Abstract
Special reed-leaf-like carbon nanostructures have been realized by using chemical vapor deposition (CVD) under the combined action of copper containing catalytic pyrolysis and ammonia (NH3) gas. The nucleation and growth mechanisms of CNLs based on growth parameters are discussed. The Raman [...] Read more.
Special reed-leaf-like carbon nanostructures have been realized by using chemical vapor deposition (CVD) under the combined action of copper containing catalytic pyrolysis and ammonia (NH3) gas. The nucleation and growth mechanisms of CNLs based on growth parameters are discussed. The Raman spectra of carbon nanotubes (CNTs), CNLs and CNT-CNL composites were measured and found to be strongly influenced by the type of gas. Field emission (FE) properties of CNL-CNT composites were observed with a lower turn-on electric field of 0.73 V/µm, and a higher current density of 18.0 mA/cm2 at an electric field of 2.65 V/µm, which are superior to those of CNTs and flower-like CNLs. This is because there are more field emitters in CNLs inter-planted in CNTs. We consider that the unique FE stability of CNTs and defects in CNLs play a synergetic role on the improved FE properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Field Emission from Graphene and other Nanostructures)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Temperature Comparison of Looped and Vertical Carbon Nanotube Fibers during Field Emission
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(7), 1175; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8071175 - 19 Jul 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
Carbon nanotube (CNT) fiber-based emitters have shown great potential to deliver stable, high current beams for various potential applications. Because of joule heating, CNT field emitters are heated to high temperatures during field emission. It is important to improve the thermal management of [...] Read more.
Carbon nanotube (CNT) fiber-based emitters have shown great potential to deliver stable, high current beams for various potential applications. Because of joule heating, CNT field emitters are heated to high temperatures during field emission. It is important to improve the thermal management of emitters to increase their reliability and prevent premature failure. This paper compares the field emission characteristics and the temperature distribution of a new configuration of a looped CNT fiber emitter with a traditional single vertical CNT fiber emitter. It is found that the maximum temperature of the looped fiber emitter (~300 °C) is significantly reduced compared to that of the vertical fiber (~600 °C) at the same emission current of 3 mA. The experimentally measured temperature distribution is compared with a recent theory on joule heating of a one-dimensional conductor. This study provides new insights into the design of high performance field emitters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Field Emission from Graphene and other Nanostructures)
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Open AccessArticle
Current-Fluctuation Mechanism of Field Emitters Using Metallic Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes with High Crystallinity
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(12), 1322; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7121322 - 19 Dec 2017
Cited by 2
Abstract
Field emitters can be used as a cathode electrode in a cathodoluminescence device, and single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) that are synthesized by arc discharge are expected to exhibit good field emission (FE) properties. However, a cathodoluminescence device that uses field emitters radiates rays [...] Read more.
Field emitters can be used as a cathode electrode in a cathodoluminescence device, and single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) that are synthesized by arc discharge are expected to exhibit good field emission (FE) properties. However, a cathodoluminescence device that uses field emitters radiates rays whose intensity considerably fluctuates at a low frequency, and the radiant fluctuation is caused by FE current fluctuation. To solve this problem, is very important to obtain a stable output for field emitters in a cathodoluminescence device. The authors consider that the electron-emission fluctuation is caused by Fowler–Nordheim electron tunneling and that the electrons in the Fowler–Nordheim regime pass through an inelastic potential barrier. We attempted to develop a theoretical model to analyze the power spectrum of the FE current fluctuation using metallic SWCNTs as field emitters, owing to their electrical conductivity by determining their FE properties. Field emitters that use metallic SWCNTs with high crystallinity were successfully developed to achieve a fluctuating FE current from field emitters at a low frequency by employing inelastic electron tunneling. This paper is the first report of the successful development of an inelastic-electron-tunneling model with a Wentzel–Kramers–Brillouin approximation for metallic SWCNTs based on the evaluation of FE properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Field Emission from Graphene and other Nanostructures)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
The Growth Methods and Field Emission Studies of Low-Dimensional Boron-Based Nanostructures
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(5), 1019; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9051019 - 12 Mar 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Based on the morphology characteristics, low-dimensional (LD) nanostructures with high aspect ratio can be usually divided into nanowire, nanocone, nanotube, nanorod, nanoribbon, nanobelt and so on. Among numerous LD nanostructures, boron-based nanostructures attracted much interest in recent years because they have high melting-point, [...] Read more.
Based on the morphology characteristics, low-dimensional (LD) nanostructures with high aspect ratio can be usually divided into nanowire, nanocone, nanotube, nanorod, nanoribbon, nanobelt and so on. Among numerous LD nanostructures, boron-based nanostructures attracted much interest in recent years because they have high melting-point, large electric and thermal conductivity, and low work function. Compared to traditional thermal emission, field emission (FE) has notable advantages, such as lower power dissipation, longer working life, room-temperature operation, higher brightness and faster switching speed. Most studies reveal they have lower turn-on and threshold fields as well as high current density, which are believed as ideal cold cathode nanomaterials. In this review, we will firstly introduce the growth methods of LD boron-based nanostructures (boron monoelement and rare-earth metal hexaboride). Then, we will discuss their FE properties and applications. At last, the conclusions and outlook will be summarized based on the above studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Field Emission from Graphene and other Nanostructures)
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Open AccessReview
A Review Paper on “Graphene Field Emission for Electron Microscopy”
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(6), 868; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8060868 - 25 May 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
Although good field emission from graphene has been demonstrated from a wide variety of different microfabricated structures, very few of them can be used to improve the design of cold field emitters for electron microscopy applications. Most of them consist of densely packed [...] Read more.
Although good field emission from graphene has been demonstrated from a wide variety of different microfabricated structures, very few of them can be used to improve the design of cold field emitters for electron microscopy applications. Most of them consist of densely packed nano-emitters, which produce a large array of defocused overlapping electron beams, and therefore cannot be subsequently focused down to a single nanometer electron probe. This paper reviews the kind of single-tip cathode structures suitable in cold field emission guns for instruments such as scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscope or scanning transmission electron microscopy, and reviews progress in fabricating them from graphene-based materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Field Emission from Graphene and other Nanostructures)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Field Emission from Carbon Nanostructures
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(4), 526; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8040526 - 29 Mar 2018
Cited by 22
Abstract
Field emission electron sources in vacuum electronics are largely considered to achieve faster response, higher efficiency and lower energy consumption in comparison with conventional thermionic emitters. Carbon nanotubes had a leading role in renewing attention to field emission technologies in the early 1990s, [...] Read more.
Field emission electron sources in vacuum electronics are largely considered to achieve faster response, higher efficiency and lower energy consumption in comparison with conventional thermionic emitters. Carbon nanotubes had a leading role in renewing attention to field emission technologies in the early 1990s, due to their exceptional electron emitting properties enabled by their large aspect ratio, high electrical conductivity, and thermal and chemical stability. In the last decade, the search for improved emitters has been extended to several carbon nanostructures, comprising carbon nanotubes, either individual or films, diamond structures, graphitic materials, graphene, etc. Here, we review the main results in the development of carbon-based field emitters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Field Emission from Graphene and other Nanostructures)
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