Field electron emission enhancement of amorphous carbon through a niobium carbide buffer layer

  • Xu L
  • Wang C
  • Hu C
 et al. 
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Abstract

We investigate the field electron emission for amorphous carbon (a-C) films deposited on Si (100) substrates through a niobium carbide buffer layer with different structures and find that the niobium carbide buffer layer can substantially improve the electron field emission properties of a-C films, which can be attributed to an increase in the enhancement factor beta on the surface of a-C films after the insertion of the niobium carbide layer in between a-C film and substrate. Moreover, a phase transition for niobium carbide layer from hexagonal (Nb2C) to cubic (NbC) structure, revealed by x-ray diffraction, further enhances the electron field emission. The first-principles calculated results show that the work function of NbC is lower than that of Nb2C, which is the reason why the electron emission of a-C is further enhanced. (C) 2009 American Institute of Physics. [DOI: 10.1063/1.3032686]

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Authors

  • L. Xu

  • C. Wang

  • C. Q. Hu

  • Z. D. Zhao

  • W. X. Yu

  • W. T. Zheng

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