Titanium Nitride Coated Tungsten Cold Field Emission Sources

Document Type



Physics (Pomona)

Publication Date



IV characteristic, sputtered materials, electron sources, coatings, thin films, titanium nitrides, tungsten, field emission, electron emission, current density, stability


Titanium nitride (TiN) thin film coatings were studied by field emission microscopy and spectroscopy. Coated tungsten tips were found to be capable of emitting extremely high currents at low extraction voltages (∼1 mA at 900–1700 V). Current fluctuations for >400 μA total emission from a single tip were 7% rms, measured over ∼ 1 h. Electron energy distributions measured <0.4 eV (full width at half‐maximum). Since TiN thin films are commonly used in the microelectronics industry, TiN coatings have the potential for being a relatively simple and widely accessible method for improving the performance of cold field emission sources.

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© 1996 American Vacuum Society