Field Emission Properties of Al-Doped ZnO Nanostructures
Field emission from Al-doped ZnO nanostrcutures has been investigated in planar diode configuration under ultra high vacuum conditions. The Al-doped ZnO nanostructures were synthesized by co-precipitation method with varying aluminium concentrations. The as- synthesized product was characterized by x-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscope and energy dispersive x-ray analysis. The threshold field required to draw a current density of ~ 1 μA/cm2 was observed to be ~ 2.0 V/μm and ~ 2.3 V/μm for Al-doped ZnO nanostructures synthesized with aluminium concentrations of 1% and 3%, respectively. The Fowler- Nordheim (F-N) plots for both the specimens exhibit non-linear behaviour, which is observed to be specimen dependent. The non-linearity observed in the F-N plots has been interpreted on the basis of the theory of electron emission from semiconductor emitters. The field enhancement factors, estimated from the slope of the F-N plots, are found to be ~ 9.3 x 103 and 3.9 x 103 for 1% and 3% Al-doped ZnO emitters, respectively. The high values of the field enhancement factor suggest that the emission is from the nanostructures. The emission current stability measured at the preset value of ~ 2 μA over a period of more than three hours is found to be fairly stable. The results indicate use of Al-doped ZnO nanostructures as promising emitters for field emission based devices.
S. C. Navale et al., "Field Emission Properties of Al-Doped ZnO Nanostructures", Journal of Nano Research, Vol. 5, pp. 231-237, 2009