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UBC Theses and Dissertations

High electron gain from single walled carbon nanotubes stimulated by interaction with an electron beam Michan, Mario

Abstract

Carbon nanotubes, hollow cylindrical structures made of carbon atoms with diameters in the order of a few nanometres, are attractive candidates for electron emission applications. A detailed characterization of the phenomenon so-called electron-stimulated field-emission from carbon nanotubes is presented in this thesis. An electron beam hitting the tip of a nanotube biased near the threshold of field-emission can stimulate the emission of a large number of electrons from the nanotube tip. The result of this interaction is that high electron gains can be obtained with very small stimulating electron beam currents. Electron gains of up to 2300 were recorded. This is important as this effect could form the basis of several vacuum nanoelectronic devices. Possible direct and indirect electron-nanotube interaction mechanisms responsible for this high gain are discussed and substantiated through simulations. The design and assembly of an ultra high vacuum apparatus for more controlled future experiments is also presented.

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