Electromechanical interactions in a carbon nanotube based thin film field emitting diode
ABSTRACT Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have emerged as promising candidates for biomedical x-ray devices and other applications of field emission. CNTs grown/deposited in a thin film are used as cathodes for field emission. In spite of the good performance of such cathodes, the procedure to estimate the device current is not straightforward and the required insight towards design optimization is not well developed. In this paper, we report an analysis aided by a computational model and experiments by which the process of evolution and self-assembly (reorientation) of CNTs is characterized and the device current is estimated. The modeling approach involves two steps: (i) a phenomenological description of the degradation and fragmentation of CNTs and (ii) a mechanics based modeling of electromechanical interaction among CNTs during field emission. A computational scheme is developed by which the states of CNTs are updated in a time incremental manner. Finally, the device current is obtained by using the Fowler-Nordheim equation for field emission and by integrating the current density over computational cells. A detailed analysis of the results reveals the deflected shapes of the CNTs in an ensemble and the extent to which the initial state of geometry and orientation angles affect the device current. Experimental results confirm these effects.
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ABSTRACT: In this paper we analyze a long standing problem of the appearance of spurious, non-physical solutions arising in the application of the effective mass theory to low dimensional nanostructures. The theory results in a system of coupled eigenvalue PDEs that is usually supplemented by interface boundary conditions that can be derived from a variational formulation of the problem. We analyze such a system for the envelope functions and show that a failure to restrict their Fourier expansion coefficients to small k components would lead to the appearance of non-physical solutions. We survey the existing methodologies to eliminate this difficulty and discuss a simple and effective solution. This solution is demonstrated on an example of a two-band model for both bulk materials and low-dimensional nanostructures. Finally, based on the above requirement of small k, we derive a model for nanostructures with cylindrical symmetry.Communications in Computational Physics 10/2009; 6(4):699-729. DOI:10.4208/cicp.2009.v6.p699 · 1.78 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In recent years, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have emerged as one of the best field emitters for a variety of technological applications. The field emitting cathodes have several advantages over the conventional thermionic cathodes: (i) current density from field emission would be orders of magnitude greater than in the thermionic case, (ii) a cold cathode would minimize the need for cooling, and (iii) a field emitting cathode can be miniaturized. In spite of good performance of such cathodes, the procedure to estimate the device current is not straight forward and the required insight towards design optimization is not well understood. In addition, the current in CNT-based thin film devices shows fluctuation. Such fluctuation in field emission current is not desirable for many biomedical applications such as x-ray devices. The CNTs in a thin film undergo complex dynamics during field emission, which includes processes such as (i) evolution, (ii) electromechanical interaction, (iii) thermoelectric heating, (iv) ballistic transport, and (v) electron gas flow. These processes are coupled and nonlinear. Therefore, they must be analyzed accurately from the stability and long-term performance point of view. In this research, we develop detailed physics-based models of CNTs considering the aspects mentioned above. The models are integrated in a systematic manner to calculate the device current by using the Fowler-Nordheim equation. Using the models, we were able to capture the fluctuations in the field emission current, which have been observed in actual experiments. A detailed analysis of the results reveals the deflected shapes of the CNTs in an ensemble and the extent to which the initial state of geometry and orientation angles affect the device current. In addition, investigations on the influence of defects and impurities in CNTs on their field emission properties have been carried out. By inclusion of defects and impurities, the field emission properties of CNTs can be tailored for specific device applications in future. For stable performance of CNT-based field emission devices, such as x-ray generators, design optimization studies have been presented. It has been found that the proposed design minimizes transience in field emission current. In this thesis, it has been demonstrated that phonon-assisted control of field emission current in CNT based thin film is possible. Finally, experimental studies pertaining to crosstalk phenomenon in a multi-pixel CNT array are presented.
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ABSTRACT: The lifetime of a patterned carbon nanotube film is evaluated for use as the cold cathode field emission ionization source of a miniaturized mass spectrometer. Emitted current is measured as a function of time for varying partial pressures of nitrogen gas to explore the robustness and lifetime of carbon nanotube cathodes near the expected operational voltages (70-100 eV) for efficient ionization in mass spectrometry. As expected, cathode lifetime scales inversely with partial pressure of nitrogen. Results are presented within the context of previous carbon nanotube investigations, and implications for planetary science mass spectrometry applications are discussed.SPIE Micro (MEMS) and Nanotechnologies for Space, Defense, and Security II; 05/2008