Applied Surface Science, Vol.254, No.2, 610-615, 2007
Effect of temperature on the electron field emission from aligned carbon nanofibers and multiwalled carbon nanotubes
Effect of temperature and aspect ratio on the field emission properties of vertically aligned carbon nanofiber and multiwalled carbon nanotube thin films were studied in detail. Carbon nanofibers and multiwalled carbon nanotube have been synthesized on Si substrates via direct current plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition technique. Surface morphologies of the films have been studied by a scanning electron microscope, transmission electron microscope and an atomic force microscope. It is found that the threshold field and the emission current density are dependent on the ambient temperature as well as on the aspect ratio of the carbon nanostructure. The threshold field for carbon nanofibers was found to decrease from 5.1 to 2.6 V/mu m when the temperature was raised from 300 to 650 K, whereas for MWCNTs it was found to decrease from 4.0 to 1.4 V/mu m. This dependence was due to the change in work function of the nanofibers and nanotubes with temperature. The field enhancement factor, current density and the dependence of the effective work function with temperature and with aspect ratio were calculated and we have tried to explain the emission mechanism. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.