Nanocrystalline carbon thin films were deposited by hot-filament chemical vapor deposition using a 2% concentration of methane in hydrogen. The films were deposited on molybdenum substrates under various substrate biasing conditions. A positive bias produced a continuous flow of electrons from the filament onto the substrate, while a negative bias caused the substrate to be bombarded with positive ions. Films were also grown under no bias, for comparison. Differences in the electron field emission properties (turn-on fields and emitted currents) of these films were characterized. Correspondingly, microstructural differences were also studied, as characterized with atomic force microscopy and Raman spectroscopy. Films grown under electron bombardment showed lower turn-on fields, smoother surfaces, and smaller grains than those grown under ion bombardment or no bias. A correlation between the enhanced emission properties and the nanocrystalline carbon material produced by the low-energy particle bombardment was found through the parameters obtained using spectroscopic ellipsometry modeling. The results confirm the significant role of defects on the electron field emission mechanism.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)