We have fabricated and investigated the emission characteristics of planar cold cathodes which are appropriate for the electronic cooling devices by atomically depositing ultrathin Al2O3 films onto the indium-tin-oxide-coated glass. A diode-type test indicated prominent emission behaviors, such as a low threshold field of 35Vμm for planar cold cathodes and the nonuniform luminescence intensity with localized distribution of emission spots. We propose a resonant Fowler–Nordheim tunneling of electrons transported via the Frenkel traps with a well depth of ϕB=0.80.9eV in nm-thick Al2O3 films as a key process for the extraordinary emission properties of Al2O3 film-based planar cold cathodes.

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