Volume 85, Number 1, January 2009
Article Number 17001
Number of page(s) 4
Section Condensed Matter: Electronic Structure, Electrical, Magnetic and Optical Properties
Published online 07 January 2009
EPL, 85 (2009) 17001
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/85/17001

Enhancement factor, electrostatic force and emission current in a nanoneedle emitter

E. G. Pogorelov, A. I. Zhbanov and Y.-C. Chang

Research Center for Applied Sciences, Academia Sinica - 128, Section 2, Academia Road Nankang, Taipei 115, Taiwan

received 23 July 2008; accepted in final form 21 November 2008; published January 2009
published online 7 January 2009

We consider field emission from carbon nanotubes and other elongated nanostructures. An exact solution for the electrostatic field between a metallic hemi-ellipsoidal needle on a plate (as a cathode) and a flat anode are presented. The basic idea is to replace the cathode by a linearly charged thread in a uniform electric field and to use a set of “image” charges to reproduce the anode. Exact analytical formulas of the electrical field, field enhancement factor, and electrostatic force are found. Using the Fowler-Nordheim theory we obtain an exact analytical formula for the total current. The field enhancement factor, total force and emission current, as well as their distributions on the top of the needle for a wide range of parameters, have been calculated and analyzed.

79.70.+q - Field emission, ionization, evaporation, and desorption.
81.07.De - Nanotubes.

© EPLA 2009