The field emission properties and structure of silicon field emitter tips, covered with a porous silicon layer, have been studied. Emission produced with a variety of porous silicon morphologies, thickness, and different substrate types has been investigated and in each case improved characteristics are found compared to plain silicon emitters. Bright‐and dark‐field transmission electron microscope analysis has been carried out and for all p‐ and n‐type porous emitters, a crystalline core is observed covered with a layer of amorphous porous silicon. This core has an improved aspect ratio over the original emitter shape. Single porous silicon tips have also been examined in a field‐ion/field‐emission microscope, allowing the emission image to be studied. It is concluded that field emission originates from sharp surface asperities present at the surface of porous silicon.

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