Dynamic stability of field emission from molybdenum microtips exposed to oxygen

Sosa, Edward D.; Abbott, Patrick; Golden, David E.
June 2001
Applied Physics Letters;6/11/2001, Vol. 78 Issue 24, p3899
Academic Journal
The emission current in a molybdenum field emission array can decrease by 50% in 1000 s at an oxygen pressure of 10[sup -6] Torr. To overcome this disadvantage of molybdenum microtips, the effectiveness of dynamic surface cleaning has been investigated in a single-aperture gated-diode configuration. For dynamic surface cleaning, tip surface oxide buildup is balanced by tip oxide removal due to sputtering by ions created in ionizing collisions with field-emitted electrons. The present results demonstrate stable dynamic cleaning with clean and partially oxidized molybdenum tips for currents ranging from 10[sup -11] to 10[sup -9] A with oxygen exposures of up to 1000 L. For currents above 10[sup -9] A, ion bombardment causes the tip shape to become unstable leading to failure with increasing oxygen exposure. © 2001 American Institute of Physics.


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