A method of preparing diamond thin films with improved field emission properties. The method includes preparing a diamond thin film on a substrate, such as Mo, W, Si and Ni. An atmosphere of hydrogen (molecular or atomic) can be provided above the already deposited film to form absorbed hydrogen to reduce the work function and enhance field emission properties of the diamond film. In addition, hydrogen can be absorbed on intergranular surfaces to enhance electrical conductivity of the diamond film. The treated diamond film can be part of a microtip array in a flat panel display.
This invention was made with Government support under contract No. W-31-109-ENG-38 between the University of Chicago and the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in this invention.