Band-to-Band Tunneling-Dominated Thermo-Enhanced Field Electron Emission from p‑Si/ZnO Nanoemitters

Published on 2018-06-13T12:55:48Z (GMT) by
Thermo-enhancement is an effective way to achieve high performance field electron emitters, and enables the individually tuning on the emission current by temperature and the electron energy by voltage. The field emission current from metal or n-doped semiconductor emitter at a relatively lower temperature (i.e., < 1000 K) is less temperature sensitive due to the weak dependence of free electron density on temperature, while that from p-doped semiconductor emitter is restricted by its limited free electron density. Here, we developed full array of uniform individual p-Si/ZnO nanoemitters and demonstrated the strong thermo-enhanced field emission. The mechanism of forming uniform nanoemitters with well Si/ZnO mechanical joint in the nanotemplates was elucidated. No current saturation was observed in the thermo-enhanced field emission measurements. The emission current density showed about ten-time enhancement (from 1.31 to 12.11 mA/cm<sup>2</sup> at 60.6 MV/m) by increasing the temperature from 323 to 623 K. The distinctive performance did not agree with the interband excitation mechanism but well-fit to the band-to-band tunneling model. The strong thermo-enhancement was proposed to be benefit from the increase of band-to-band tunneling probability at the surface portion of the p-Si/ZnO nanojunction. This work provides promising cathode for portable X-ray tubes/panel, ionization vacuum gauges and low energy electron beam lithography, in where electron-dose control at a fixed energy is needed.

Cite this collection

Huang, Zhizhen; Huang, Yifeng; Xu, Ningsheng; Chen, Jun; She, Juncong; Deng, Shaozhi (2018): Band-to-Band

Tunneling-Dominated Thermo-Enhanced Field Electron Emission from p‑Si/ZnO

Nanoemitters. ACS Publications. Collection.