IPCMS/GSI, UMR 7504 CNRS, bât. 69, 23 rue du Loess, P.O. Box 43, 67034 Strasbourg Cedex 2, France
THALES R&T, Départementale 128, 91747 Palaiseau Cedex, France
The electron field emission properties of different graphitic and diamond-like nanostructures films are compared. They are prepared in the same CVD chamber on SiO2/Si(100) and Si(100) flat surfaces, respectively. These nanostructures are thoroughly characterized by scanning electron emission (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Raman spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and Auger electron spectroscopy (AES). Films of dense aligned carbon nanotubes by far display the lowest threshold fields around few V/ m and the largest emission currents. Carbon nanofibers, with platelet arrangement of the graphitic planes parallel to the substrate, exhibit higher emission thresholds around 10 V/ m. Diamond nanostructures, either modified through ammonia incorporation within the gas phase or not, exhibit the largest emission threshold around 25 V/ m. The high enhancement factors, deduced from the Fowler-Nordheim plots, can explain the low emission thresholds whereas limitations to the electron transport ever occur through different processes (i) surface modifications of the surface, as the transformation of the SiO2 barrier layer into SiN x in the presence of ammonia evidenced by XPS; (ii) different orientation of the graphitic basal planes relative to the direction of electron transport (carbon nanofiber) and (iii) presence of a graphitic nest at the interface of the carbon nanostructure and the substrate, observed when catalyst is deposited through mild evaporation.
(Received May 26 2006)
(Accepted January 24 2007)
(Online publication March 21 2007)