Choice of Si doping type for optimizing the performances of a SiOx-based tunneling electron source fabricated on SiOx/Si substrate


A new type on-chip electron source based on electroformed SiOx is recently reported to show dense and efficient electron emission under low working voltage. Here we study the effect of the Si doping type of SiOx/Si substrate on the performances of the SiOx-based electron source fabricated on it. The electron source is composed of an array of parallelly integrated micro-emitters. Each micro-emitter is composed of a square nanogap with a width about 100 nm which is spaced by two concentric graphene films on the SiOx substrate. The inner graphene film contact with bottom Si electrode through a via hole opening to the bottom Si layer and the outer graphene film contact with the common metal electrode. Effective emission current and efficiency of the electron source are found to be significantly influenced by both the polarity of the driven voltage applied between the metal electrode and bottom Si layer and the polarity of the Schottky barrier at graphene-Si contact. The performances of electron sources can be optimized by choosing n-type doping of SiOx/Si substrate to make the positive influence of the two aspects achieved at the same time. An emission current up to 100 μA and emission density of 250 mA cm−2 are achieved for an optimized device with 64 micro-emitters at bias voltage of 32.8 V.