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Electron field emission of amorphous carbon films



Diamond and Related Materials 7 (1998), Nr.2-5, S.682-686
ISSN: 0925-9635
European Conference on Diamond, Diamond-like and Related Materials <8, 1997, Edinburgh>
Fraunhofer IST ()

The field emission properties of amorphous carbon prepared by a standard filtered cathodic arc process and by an electron cyclotron resonance plasma sputter process were investigated. Field emission (FE) characteristics were measured using plane emitter stripes and a fluorescent screen with 60 um spacing. Vacuum arc discharge was found to activate FE in most cases. After activaton, stable FE started at an applied voltage of 250 V for the filtered arc films and 170 V for the ECR films. Current densities up to 1mA/mm² at 450 V were achieved. Because of the field enhancement, emission always took place at the edges of the emitter. Amorphous carbon films prepared by ECR plasma sputtering showed better FE characteristics. They contained small amounts of nitrogen up to 1.7 at. %. Best emitting films had an N-content of 0.6 at. %. A FED demonstrator with a 50 x 50 pixel array (25 x 25 mm²) was fabricated