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Published July 3, 2023 | Published
Journal Article Open

Lateral nanoscale field emission comb for frequency mixing

  • 1. ROR icon California Institute of Technology


Nanoscale field emission devices are promising candidates to design high-frequency electronics due to the lack of scattering in the vacuum channel that enables ballistic transport. In-plane devices are relatively easy to fabricate with current fabrication techniques and offer sub-fF capacitance. In this work, the characteristics of lateral gold multi-tip field emission arrays are studied. Vacuum gaps between the electrodes of 30 nm are fabricated, which allow < 10 V operation. The effect of number of emitting tips on measured current is investigated. By taking advantage of the strong non-linearity in the emission characteristic, frequency mixing in the MHz range is also demonstrated.

Copyright and License

© 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 the support of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for lending us vital measurement equipment.


Lucia Belen De Rose: Conceptualization (equal); Formal analysis (lead); Investigation (lead); Methodology (lead); Software (equal); Writing – original draft (lead); Writing – review & editing (lead). William Maxwell Jones: Conceptualization (equal); Funding acquisition (lead); Investigation (supporting); Methodology (supporting); Software (equal); Writing – review & editing (supporting). Axel Scherer: Funding acquisition (supporting); Supervision (lead); Writing – review & editing (supporting).

Data Availability

The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.

Conflict of Interest

The authors have no conflicts to disclose.


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Additional details

October 27, 2023
October 27, 2023