Experimental investigation of transition from Fowler–Nordheim field emission to space-charge-limited flows in a nanogap

Bhattacharjee, Sudeep; Chowdhury, Tathagata
August 2009
Applied Physics Letters;8/10/2009, Vol. 95 Issue 6, p061501
Academic Journal
An experimental investigation of the transition from Fowler–Nordheim (FN) field emission to space-charge-limited (SCL) flows in a nanogap is presented. Electrodes with gap size D∼30–70 nm corresponding to D/λo up to a maximum of ∼2×103, where λo is the de Broglie wavelength of the space-charge-electrons, are experimented. The transition from the FN field emission to the classical SCL flow is a function of the applied bias and lies in the range 5–15 V. The equilibrium transmitted current density for the 50 nm sample indicates a transition from the FN to the quantum SCL flow at ∼0.4 V with D/λo of ∼35 and then gradually to the classical SCL behavior as the voltage is increased beyond ∼9 V. The experiments indicate no sharp demarcation between the different regimes.


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