Enhanced low-temperature thermionic field emission from surface-treated N-doped diamond films

F. A.M. Köck, J. M. Garguilo, Billyde Brown, R. J. Nemanich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Nitrogen-doped diamond films have been synthesized for application as a low-temperature thermionic field-emission cathode. The critical result of this study is the observation of uniform electron emission from UV photo-excitation and from thermionic field emission for films terminated with hydrogen or a 0.3-nm Ti layer. The samples were imaged with photoelectron emission microscopy (PEEM) and thermionic field-emission electron microscopy (T-FEEM) at temperatures up to 900 °C, and the electron emission current was recorded vs. the applied voltage. Hydrogen-passivated films show enhanced electron emission, but become unstable at elevated temperatures, while Ti-terminated films showed similar enhanced emission at temperatures up to 950 °C. Temperature-dependent I/V measurements show strongly increased electron emission at higher temperatures, suggesting that electron emission originates from the conduction band. These results indicate a promising new material for the production of low-temperature, high-brightness electron sources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)774-779
Number of pages6
JournalDiamond and Related Materials
Issue number3-6
StatePublished - Mar 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Chemical vapor deposition (CVD)
  • Diamond
  • Field emission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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