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Proceedings Paper

Integration of a carbon nanotube field emission electron gun for a miniaturized time-of-flight mass spectrometer
Author(s): Stephanie A. Getty; Mary Li; Larry Hess; Nick Costen; Todd T. King; Patrick A. Roman; William B. Brinckerhoff; Paul R. Mahaffy
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Paper Abstract

A carbon nanotube (CNT) field emission electron gun has been fabricated and assembled as an electron impact ionization source for a miniaturized time-of-flight mass spectrometer (TOF-MS). The cathode consists of a patterned array of CNT towers grown by catalyst-assisted thermal chemical vapor deposition. An extraction grid is precisely integrated in close proximity to the emitter tips (20-35 μm spacing), and an anode is located at the output to monitor the ionization beam current. Ultra-clean MEMS integration techniques were employed in an effort to achieve three improvements, relative to previous embodiments: reduced extraction voltage during operation to be resonant with gas ionization energies, enhanced current transmission through the grid, and a greater understanding of the fundamental current fluctuations due to adsorbate-assisted tunneling. Performance of the CNT electron gun will be reported, and implications for in situ mass spectrometry in planetary science will be discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 May 2009
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 7318, Micro- and Nanotechnology Sensors, Systems, and Applications, 731816 (11 May 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.818939
Show Author Affiliations
Stephanie A. Getty, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Mary Li, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Larry Hess, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Nick Costen, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Todd T. King, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Patrick A. Roman, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
William B. Brinckerhoff, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Paul R. Mahaffy, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7318:
Micro- and Nanotechnology Sensors, Systems, and Applications
Thomas George; M. Saif Islam; Achyut K. Dutta, Editor(s)

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