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Title: Field emission from porous silicon
Author: Boswell, Emily
ISNI:       0000 0001 3471 5272
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 1997
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Vacuum microelectronic (VME) devices are of interest for the development of flat-screen displays and microwave devices. In many cases, their operation depends on the field emission of electrons from micron-sized cathodes (semiconductor or metal), into a vacuum. Major challenges to be met before these devices can be fully exploited include obtaining - low operating voltages, high maximum emission currents, uniform emission characteristics, and long-term emission stability. The research in this thesis concerns the production of silicon field emitters and the improvement of their emission properties by the process of anodisation. Anodisation was carried out for short times, in order to form a very thin layer of porous silicon (PS) at the surface of both p and p+-type silicon emitters. The aim in doing this was to form a high density of asperities over the surface of the emitters. It was the intention that these asperities, rather than the "macroscopic" apex of the emitter, would control emission. This was the first work of its kind to be carried out. Transmission electron microscopy was used to characterise the morphology of p and p+-type silicon emitters before and after anodisation. Both the structure and arrangement of the surface fibrils, the thickness of the PS layers at the apex and nature of PS cross-sections were studied. The morphology was correlated to subsequent field emission measurements. Field emission characteristics, before and after anodisation, were obtained using a scanning electron microscope adapted for field emission measurements, and a field emission microscope. Extensive measurements showed that, following anodisation, there was substantial improvement in emission behaviour. After anodisation, the following was found to be true: i) The starting voltage was reduced by up to 50% (with p+
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Field emission ; Porous silicon