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Journal Articles Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology B, Nanotechnology and Microelectronics Year : 2024

Field emission characterization of field-aligned carbon nanotubes synthesized in an environmental transmission electron microscope

Chen Wei
Khakimjon Saidov
Utkur Mirsaidov

Abstract

Optimizing the synthesis of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) for applications like field emission (FE) sources requires a fundamental understanding of the growth kinetics of individual CNTs. In this article, we explore how applying electric fields during CNT synthesis influences the as-grown nanotubes and their FE performance. We observe growth and undertake FE measurements in real time using an environmental transmission electron microscope. This is achieved through a polarizable capacitor gap within a microchip sample heater specifically designed for this purpose. Individual nanotubes are easily resolved and are predominantly single-wall CNTs. At low-applied fields, the growing nanotubes can span the gap and link with the opposite electrode, albeit with some loss due to mechanical failure. With a high-applied field and positive bias for FE, we continue to observe the oriented growth of nanotubes. However, this growth is constrained within the gap due to the possibility of FE occurring during the growth process, which can result in either saturation or damage. At any given time, we have the flexibility to halt the growth process and conduct in situ FE experiments. This approach enables us to comprehensively track the complete development of the CNTs and gain insights into the various mechanisms responsible for limiting the performance of CNT cathodes. Interestingly, we report an original self-oscillation induced destruction mechanism that has not been reported before.

Dates and versions

hal-04519935 , version 1 (25-03-2024)

Identifiers

Cite

Pascal Vincent, Federico Panciera, Ileana Florea, Anthony Ayari, Sorin Perisanu, et al.. Field emission characterization of field-aligned carbon nanotubes synthesized in an environmental transmission electron microscope. Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology B, Nanotechnology and Microelectronics, 2024, 42 (2), ⟨10.1116/6.0003413⟩. ⟨hal-04519935⟩
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