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Published July 2023 | Published
Journal Article Open

Effect of praseodymium coating on electron emission from a nanoscale gold field emitter array

  • 1. ROR icon California Institute of Technology


Although field emission devices are inherently robust to high temperature and radiation environments as well as have high switching speeds, their development has been hindered by high voltages that are typically required for their operation. In this work, we investigate the effect of thin-film praseodymium (Pr) coating on the emission characteristics of a lateral gold (Au) field emitter array. Because Pr has a significantly lower work function than Au, it is expected to increase the field emission measured current. Pr is deposited onto the device via thermal angled evaporation in a custom-built vacuum chamber with in situ electrical characterization capability. Our experiments demonstrate that a 10 nm-thick Pr layer reduces the turn-on voltage by almost half compared to the noncoated Au structure. These results are promising for the development of power-efficient, low voltage field emission electronics.

Additional Information

© 2023 Author(s). All article content, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). We wish to acknowledge several technical discussions from Leora Peltz and Robert Frampton from The Boeing Company. Author Contributions L. B. De Rose: Data curation (lead); Formal analysis (equal); Investigation (equal); Methodology (lead); Resources (equal); Software (lead); Validation (equal); Visualization (lead); Writing – original draft (lead); Writing – review & editing (equal). D. H. Catanzaro: Formal analysis (equal); Investigation (equal); Validation (equal); Writing – review & editing (equal). C. Choi: Formal analysis (equal); Investigation (supporting); Validation (equal); Writing – review & editing (equal). A. Scherer: Conceptualization (lead); Funding acquisition (lead); Project administration (lead); Resources (equal); Supervision (lead); Writing – review & editing (equal). DATA AVAILABILITY. The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request. The authors have no conflicts to disclose.

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August 22, 2023
October 26, 2023