The components for a silicon chip electron source were fabricated by laser micromachining using pulsed laser ablation and wet chemical cleaning and etching dips. The field emission electron source consists of a silicon field emission cathode with 4 × 4 conical shaped emitters with a height of 250 μm and a tip radius of about 50 nm, a 50 μm thick laser-structured mica spacer, and a silicon grid electrode with a grid periodicity of 200 μm and a bar width of 50 μm. These three components are combined to a single chip with the size of 14 × 10 mm2 and the thickness of 1 mm to form the electron source. Several of these devices were characterized in ultrahigh vacuum. Onset voltages of about 165 V and cathode currents of about 15 μA for voltages lower than 350 V were observed. Operating the electron source with an anode voltage of 500 V and an extraction grid voltage of 300 V yielded a cathode current of 4.5 μA ± 8.9%, an anode current of 4.0 μA ± 9.6%, and a corresponding grid transmittance of 89%. Regulating the anode current by the extraction grid voltage, an extremely stable anode current of 5.0 μA ± 0.017% was observed. A long-term measurement over 120 h was performed, and no significant degradation or failure was observed.
Silicon chip field emission electron source fabricated by laser micromachining
Christoph Langer, Vitali Bomke, Matthias Hausladen, Robert Ławrowski, Christian Prommesberger, Michael Bachmann, Rupert Schreiner; Silicon chip field emission electron source fabricated by laser micromachining. J. Vac. Sci. Technol. B 1 January 2020; 38 (1): 013202. https://doi.org/10.1116/1.5134872
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