The nanocone-shaped carbon nanotubes field-emitter array (NCNA) is a near-ideal field-emitter array that combines the advantages of geometry and material. In contrast to previous methods of field-emitter array, laser ablation is a low-cost and clean method that does not require any photolithography or wet chemistry. However, nanocone shapes are hard to achieve through laser ablation due to the micrometer-scale focusing spot. Here, we develop an ultraviolet (UV) laser beam patterning technique that is capable of reliably realizing NCNA with a cone-tip radius of ≈300 nm, utilizing optimized beam focusing and unique carbon nanotube–light interaction properties. The patterned array provided smaller turn-on fields (reduced from 2.6 to 1.6 V/μm) in emitters and supported a higher (increased from 10 to 140 mA/cm2) and more stable emission than their unpatterned counterparts. The present technique may be widely applied in the fabrication of high-performance CNTs field-emitter arrays.
- field electron emission
- carbon nanotubes