Thin films of aluminum nitride and aluminum gallium nitride for cold cathode applications

A. T. Sowers, J. A. Christman, M. D. Bremser, B. L. Ward, R. F. Davis, R. J. Nemanich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

72 Scopus citations


Cold cathode structures have been fabricated using AlN and graded AlGaN structures (deposited on n-type 6H-SiC) as the thin film emitting layer. The cathodes consist of an aluminum grid layer separated from the nitride layer by a SiO2 layer and etched to form arrays of either 1, 3, or 5 μm holes through which the emitting nitride surface is exposed. After fabrication, a hydrogen plasma exposure was employed to activate the cathodes. Cathode devices with 5 μm holes displayed emission for up to 30 min before failing. Maximum emission currents ranged from 10-100 nA and required grid voltages ranging from 20-110 V. The grid currents were typically 1 to 104 times the collector currents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2289-2291
Number of pages3
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number16
StatePublished - Oct 20 1997
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

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