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Proceedings Paper

The application of carbon nanotube electron sources to the electron microscope
Author(s): Mark Mann; Mohamed El Gomati; Torquil Wells; William I. Milne; Ken B. K. Teo
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Paper Abstract

The promising field emission properties of carbon nanotubes, or CNTs, have resulted in them being identified as desirable sources for electron microscopes and other electron beam equipment. A new process to grow single CNTs aligned to the electron-optical axis inside electron source modules has been developed. The process involves putting the entire source-suppressor module inside a plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposition reaction chamber. This is a process which can be scaled up to mass production. The resultant CNT electron sources were inserted into an electron microscope for imaging. Though current stability was found to be comparable to the tungsten cold-field emitter (with a maximum-minimum variation of 3-7% of the mean current over one hour), the reduced brightness was found to be an order of magnitude greater than a typical Schottky source (at 3×109 Acm2sr-1) with a kinetic energy spread of 0.28 eV. Imaging with a CNT source has produced a marked improvement in resolution when compared to a Schottky source using the same electron-optics. The properties measured show that the CNT source compares favourably with and in some cases improves upon other sources available today. In particular, the CNT source would be of most benefit to low-voltage, high-resolution microscopy.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 September 2008
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 7037, Carbon Nanotubes and Associated Devices, 70370P (4 September 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.797289
Show Author Affiliations
Mark Mann, Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom)
Mohamed El Gomati, The Univ. of York (United Kingdom)
Torquil Wells, The Univ. of York (United Kingdom)
William I. Milne, Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom)
Ken B. K. Teo, Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7037:
Carbon Nanotubes and Associated Devices
Manijeh Razeghi; Didier Pribat; Young Hee Lee, Editor(s)

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