Open Access Nano Express

Thickness dependency of field emission in amorphous and nanostructured carbon thin films

Maziar Shakerzadeh1, Edwin Hang Tong Teo2 and Beng Kang Tay13*

Author affiliations

1 School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, 50 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore, 639798, Singapore

2 Temasek Laboratories, Nanyang Technological University, 50 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore, 639798, Singapore

3 CINTRA, CNRS/NTU/THALES, UMI 3288, Research Techno Plaza, 50 Nanyang Drive, Border X Block, Level 6, Singapore, 637553, Singapore

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Citation and License

Nanoscale Research Letters 2012, 7:286  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-286

Published: 1 June 2012

Abstract

Thickness dependency of the field emission of amorphous and nanostructured carbon thin films has been studied. It is found that in amorphous and carbon films with nanometer-sized sp2 clusters, the emission does not depend on the film thickness. This further proves that the emission happens from the surface sp2 sites due to large enhancement of electric field on these sites. However, in the case of carbon films with nanocrystals of preferred orientation, the emission strongly depends on the film thickness. sp2-bonded nanocrystals have higher aspect ratio in thicker films which in turn results in higher field enhancement and hence easier electron emission.

Keywords:
Carbon films; Preferred orientation; Field emission