A graphene-based vacuum transistor (GVT) with a high ON/OFF current ratio is proposed and experimentally realized by employing electrically biased graphene as the electron emitter. The states of a GVT are switched by tuning the bias voltage applied to the graphene emitter with an ON/OFF current ratio up to 10(6), a subthreshold slope of 120 mV dec(-1) and low working voltages of <10 V, exhibiting switching performances superior to those of previously reported graphene-based solid-state transistors. GVTs are fabricated and integrated using silicon microfabrication technology. A perfectly symmetric ambipolar device is achieved by integrating two GVTs, implying the potential of realizing vacuum integrated circuits based on GVTs. GVTs are expected to find applications in extreme environments such as high temperature and intense irradiation.
The hollow core of a carbon nanotube (CNT) provides a unique opportunity to explore the physics, chemistry, biology, and metallurgy of different materials confined in such nanospace. Here, we investigate the nonequilibrium metallurgical processes taking place inside CNTs by in situ transmission electron microscopy using CNTs as nanoscale resistively heated crucibles having encapsulated metal nanowires/crystals in their channels. Because of nanometer size of the system and intimate contact between the CNTs and confined metals, an efficient heat transfer and high cooling rates (similar to 10(13) K/s) were achieved as a result of a flash bias pulse followed by system natural quenching, leading to the formation of disordered amorphous-like structures in iron, cobalt, and gold. An intermediate state between crystalline and amorphous phases was discovered, revealing a memory effect of local short-to-medium range order during these phase transitions. Furthermore, subsequent directional crystallization of an amorphous iron nano wire formed by this method was realized under controlled Joule heating. High-density crystalline defects were generated during crystallization due to a confinement effect from the CNT and severe plastic deformation involved.
We fabricate carbon nanotube (CNT)-field effect transistors (FETs) with a changeable channel length and investigate the electron transport properties of single-walled, double-walled and triple-walled CNTs under uniaxial strain. In particular, we characterize the atomic structure of the same CNTs in the devices by transmission electron microscopy and correlate the strain-induced electronic property change to the chirality of the CNTs. Both the off-state resistance and on-state resistance are observed to change with the axial strain following an exponential function. The strain-induced band gap change obtained from the maximum resistance change in the transfer curve of the ambipolar FETs is quantitatively compared with the previous theoretical prediction and our DFTB calculation from the chirality of the CNTs. Although following the same trend, the experimentally obtained strain-induced band gap change is obviously larger (57%-170% larger) than the theoretical results for all the six CNTs, indicating that more work is needed to fully understand the strain-induced electronic property change of CNTs.