A hybrid emitter exploits the electric field created by a rapidly depoled ferroelectric material. Combining the emission properties of a planar thin film diamond emitter with a ferroelectric alleviates the present technological problems associated with both types of emitters and provides a robust, extremely long life, high current density cathode of the type required by emerging microwave power generation, accelerator technology and display applications. This new hybrid emitter is easy to fabricate and not susceptible to the same failures which plague microstructure field emitter technology. Local electrode geometries and electric field are determined independently from those for optimum transport and brightness preservation. Due to the large amount of surface charge created on the ferroelectric, the emitted electrons have significant energy, thus eliminating the requirement for specialized phosphors in emissive flat-panel displays.
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.