Electrochemical formation of field emitters, particularly useful in the fabrication of flat panel displays. The fabrication involves field emitting points in a gated field emitter structure. Metal field emitters are formed by electroplating and the shape of the formed emitter is controlled by the potential imposed on the gate as well as on a separate counter electrode. This allows sharp emitters to be formed in a more inexpensive and manufacturable process than vacuum deposition processes used at present. The fabrication process involves etching of the gate metal and the dielectric layer down to the resistor layer, and then electroplating the etched area and forming an electroplated emitter point in the etched area.
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.