An in situ synthesis process for nanowire arrays was used to fabricate a customized field emitter array for use as a nonthermal electron source in an ionization gauge. The wire arrays fabricated with this process had a density of 1.6 × 106 cm−2 using optimized deposition of the wires in template foils on predefined electrodes. The diameter of the wires varied from 100 to 400 nm and their length ranged from 8 to 100 μm. This method can enclose with nanowires a wide area of predefined electrodes, and is possible for areas larger than 3 cm2. Further, the cylindrical shape of the nanowires was modified into a conical geometry to achieve improved thermomechanical stability.

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