A novel field emitter device for cold cathode field emission applications, comprising a multi-layer resistive carbon film. The multi-layered film of the present invention is comprised of at least two layers of a resistive carbon material, preferably amorphous-tetrahedrally coordinated carbon, such that the resistivities of adjacent layers differ. For electron emission from the surface, the preferred structure comprises a top layer having a lower resistivity than the bottom layer. For edge emitting structures, the preferred structure of the film comprises a plurality of carbon layers, wherein adjacent layers have different resistivities. Through selection of deposition conditions, including the energy of the depositing carbon species, the presence or absence of certain elements such as H, N, inert gases or boron, carbon layers having desired resistivities can be produced. Field emitters made according the present invention display improved electron emission characteristics in comparison to conventional field emitter materials.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST
This invention was made with Government support under contract no. DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to Sandia Corporation. The Government has certain rights in the invention.