Improved field emission stability from single-walled carbon nanotubes chemically attached to silicon
1 Institut für Physikalische Chemie, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Münster 48149, Germany
2 Flinders Centre for Nanoscale Science and Technology, School of Chemical and Physical Sciences, Flinders University, Bedford Park, Adelaide 5042, Australia
3 Centre for Organic Electronics, School of Physics, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, Newcastle, 2308, Australia
Nanoscale Research Letters 2012, 7:432 doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-432Published: 1 August 2012
Here, we demonstrate the simple fabrication of a single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) field emission electrode which shows excellent field emission characteristics and remarkable field emission stability without requiring posttreatment. Chemically functionalized SWCNTs were chemically attached to a silicon substrate. The chemical attachment led to vertical alignment of SWCNTs on the surface. Field emission sweeps and Fowler-Nordheim plots showed that the Si-SWCNT electrodes field emit with a low turn-on electric field of 1.5 V μm−1 and high electric field enhancement factor of 3,965. The Si-SWCNT electrodes were shown to maintain a current density of >740 μA cm−2 for 15 h with negligible change in applied voltage. The results indicate that adhesion strength between the SWCNTs and substrate is a much greater factor in field emission stability than previously reported.