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Journal Articles Smart Materials and Structures Year : 2018

High charge density silica micro-electrets fabricated by electron beam


Electret based smart materials have been attracting increasing attention for their versatility combined with easy fabrication. In particular, electret microparticles can be embedded in micro- and nano-electronic devices, enabling applications such as sensing, actuating, biological transducers and energy harvesting. In this work, silica micro-electrets are charged by electron injection in a SEM environment. The particle charge distribution is precisely controlled adjusting the energy of the primary beam. The surface potential, measured in the SEM chamber by the shift of the Duane–Hunt limit and by secondary electron spectroscopy reaches up to 200 V for 1 micron particles. The increase of the particle surface potential with the electron penetration depth is explained by a theoretical model, which also provides the value of about 0.1 C cm−3 for the charge concentration. The charge decay is studied in time monitoring the secondary electron emission by an in–lens SEM detector, showing that most of the charge injected deeper than 200 nm is retained in the particles for several months after the charging process. The capability to reach high values of surface potential stable over time on micrometric scale makes these materials as ideal candidates for applicative purposes and strategic elements in nanotechnology.
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hal-01980664 , version 1 (14-01-2019)



Francesco Bonacci, Alessandro Di Michele, Silvia Caponi, Francesco Cottone, Maurizio Mattarelli. High charge density silica micro-electrets fabricated by electron beam. Smart Materials and Structures, 2018, 27 (7), ⟨10.1088/1361-665X/aaca55⟩. ⟨hal-01980664⟩
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