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09 August 2013 University of Cambridge

Graphene; Structuring the Very flat for Robust Electron Emission

Schematic for 3D graphene fin printing. a) Graphene/PMMA stack transferred to structured PDMS stamp. b) Solvent bath dissolves the PMMA mediator. c) Partial drying of the stamp releases the graphene. d) Peeling of the stamp transfers the graphene to substrate defining the fin-emitter geometry
Schematic for 3D graphene fin printing. a) Graphene/PMMA stack transferred to structured PDMS stamp. b) Solvent bath dissolves the PMMA mediator. c) Partial drying of the stamp releases the graphene. d) Peeling of the stamp transfers the graphene to substrate defining the fin-emitter geometry.
Image Credit: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Transition metals have long been the material of choice to fabricate electron guns. From electron microscopes to cathode ray tubes, metallic Spindts and wet-etched tips are the ubiquity. The low turn-on voltages, rapid temporal response, and low sputtering coefficient of carbon nanotubes and graphene, however, make them very promising candidate materials for robust, nanoengineered electron sources. Researchers Dr Matthew Cole, IoN Fellow (FIoN), at Cambridge University and Dr Toby Hallam at Trinity College Dublin have developed a large-are compatible graphene nanoimprint profiling technique capable of forming high aspect ratio structured graphene fins that present extremely reproducible, hysteresis-free, and temporally stable field emission. This work was recently published in the journals Small (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/smll.201300552/abstract).

Source: University of Cambridge /...

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