Open Access Nano Express

Highly conductive vertically aligned molybdenum nanowalls and their field emission property

Yan Shen123, Shaozhi Deng123*, Yu Zhang123, Fei Liu123, Jun Chen123 and Ningsheng Xu123*

Author affiliations

1 State Key Laboratory of Optoelectronic Materials and Technologies, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, People's Republic of China

2 Guangdong Province Key Laboratory of Display Material and Technology, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, People's Republic of China

3 School of Physics and Engineering, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, 510275, People's Republic of China

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Citation and License

Nanoscale Research Letters 2012, 7:463  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-463

Published: 17 August 2012


We report that vertically aligned molybdenum (Mo) nanowalls can grow on various substrates by simple thermal vapor deposition. Individual nanowalls have a typical thickness of about 50 nm and very good conductivity with a typical average value of about 1.97 × 104−1 cm−1, i.e., only an order of magnitude less than the value of bulk Mo. The formation process is characterized in detail, and it is found that Mo nanowalls grow from nanorods through nanotrees. The atomic arrangement, lattice mismatch relationship, and competition growth are all believed to contribute to the growth mechanism. The field emission performance is attractive, typically with a very low fluctuation of about approximately 1.18% at a high current density level of 10 mA/cm2, and a sustainably stable very large current density of approximately 57.5 mA/cm2 was recorded. These indicate that the Mo nanowall is a potential candidate as a cold cathode for application in vacuum electron devices, which demand both a high current and high current density.

Molybdenum nanowalls; Thermal vapor deposition; Growth mechanism; Field emission; Electrical conductivity