Open Access Nano Express

Field emission enhancement of Au-Si nano-particle-decorated silicon nanowires

Fei Zhao, Guo-an Cheng*, Rui-ting Zheng, Dan-dan Zhao, Shao-long Wu and Jian-hua Deng

Author Affiliations

Key Laboratory of Beam Technology and Material Modification of Ministry of Education, College of Nuclear Science and Technology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, P. R. China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:176  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-176

Published: 25 February 2011

Abstract

Au-Si nano-particle-decorated silicon nanowire arrays have been fabricated by Au film deposition on silicon nanowire array substrates and then post-thermal annealing under hydrogen atmosphere. Field emission measurements illustrated that the turn-on fields of the non-annealed Au-coated SiNWs were 6.02 to 7.51 V/μm, higher than that of the as-grown silicon nanowires, which is about 5.01 V/μm. Meanwhile, after being annealed above 650°C, Au-Si nano-particles were synthesized on the top surface of the silicon nanowire arrays and the one-dimensional Au-Si nano-particle-decorated SiNWs had a much lower turn-on field, 1.95 V/μm. The results demonstrated that annealed composite silicon nanowire array-based electron field emitters may have great advantages over many other emitters.