In this paper we report on the development of a photolithographic process to fabricate a gated-emitter array with single-stranded carbon nanotubes (CNTs) self-aligned to the center of the emitter gate using plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD). Si tips are formed on a silicon wafer by anisotropic etching of Si using SiO2 as a mask. Deposition of a SiO2 insulating layer and Cr-W electrode layers creates protrusions above the Si tips. This wafer is polished, and the Cr-W on the tips is removed. Etching of the SiO2 using hydrofluoric acid is performed to expose the gated Si tip. Incorporation of a novel diffusion process produces single-stranded CNTs by depositing a thin Ni layer on the Si tips and thermally diffusing the Ni layer to yield a catalyst particle for single-stranded CNT growth. The large surface to volume ratio at the apex of the Si tip allows a Ni particle to remain to act as a catalyst to grow a single-stranded CNT for fabricating the CNT based emitter structure. Diffusion of the Ni is carried out in situ during the heating phase of the PECVD CNT growth process at 600°C. The diameters of the observed CNTs are on the order of 20 nm. The field emission characteristics of the gated field emitters are evaluated. The measured turn-on voltage of the gated emitter is 5 V.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering