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Experimental study of electric field screening by the proximity of two carbon fiber cathodes

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5 Author(s)
Tang, Wilkin ; Air Force Research Laboratory/Directed Energy Directorate, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87117 ; Shiffler, Don ; Golby, Ken ; LaCour, Matthew
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This paper describes the first experiments that use only two carbon fiber field emitters with different separations to quantify and isolate the effect of electric field screening. Experiments show that when the separation between the two carbon fiber cathodes decreases, both the effective field enhancement factor, βeff, and the current emission decreases. For a two-emitter geometry, our experiment suggests a height of approximately 1.5 times the separation between the two cathodes as the optimum ratio to optimize the emitted current. The paper shows the analysis of the turn on voltage of the field emitters for different separations. The authors compare experimental data with Fowler–Nordheim field emission theory and particle-in-cell simulation, showing good agreement between experiment, theory, and modeling.

Published in:

Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology B: Microelectronics and Nanometer Structures  (Volume:30 ,  Issue: 6 )

Date of Publication:

Nov 2012

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