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Electrochemical sharpening of field emission tips

United States Patent

5,891,321
April 6, 1999
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory - Visit the Industrial Partnerships Office Website
A method for sharpening field emitter tips by electroetching/polishing. In gated field emitters, it is very important to initiate electron emission at the lowest possible voltage and thus the composition of the emitter and the gate, as well as the emitter-gate structure, are important factors. This method of sharpening the emitter tips uses the grid as a counter electrode in electroetching of the emitters, which can produce extremely sharp emitter tips as well as remove asperities and other imperfections in the emitters, each in relation to the specific grid hole in which it resides. This has the effect of making emission more uniform among the emitters as well as lowering the turn-on voltage.
Bernhardt; Anthony F. (Berkeley, CA)
The Regents of the University of California (Oakland, CA)
08/ 847,087
May 1, 1997
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.