Diamond Triode Devices with a Diamond Microtip Emitter


Vanderbilt researchers have developed a highly efficient field emission emitter. This new emitter is fabricated from diamond and is thus very stable. The method used for the fabrication of this emitter results in a lowered costs and time for fabrication.

Current Limitations/Challenges

• The characteristics of solid diamond emitters is preferable to those of diamond coated emitters

• Current diamond emitters are inefficient or produce unstable emission currents

• Planar diamond films and ion-etched diamond structures are irregular or non-uniform

Technology Description

In this technology, local electric fields enhance the formation of submicron structures of monolithic diamond which are excellent emitters. The resulting devices can have diamond emitter element/array, in diode, triode, display, and sensor configurations.


• Very sharp tip curvatures (< 200 A)

• Small grain sizes at tip of emitter structure

• Ability to control carbon graphite content of diamond

• Ideal balance of emission efficiency and durability

• Applied field is lower compared to Si, Ge, GaAs, and metal surfaces

• Processing techniques compatible with IC and other fabrication methods

Intellectual Property Status

US Utility Patents 6,132,278, 6,762,543, and 7,256,535 have been granted

News feature with video: http://www.insidevandy.com/news/science_and_medicine/article_f1996641-00d0-5bf5-92c8-a2427e3e0fce.html

Jimmy DavidsonWeng Poo KangDavid KernsMick Howell
Licensing manager: 
Ashok Choudhury

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