We report here results additional to those presented earlier on single amorphous carbon nano-tips grown by carbon contamination on substrates of well-defined geometry in a scanning electron microscope (SEM). This method offers beneficial accuracy in controlling the properties of the nanoemitters such as length, aspect ratio and positioning on the given substrate.
The work function, emission field, current density, emitting area, solid angle of emission, energy distribution and short and long term stability of these emitters are all of interest. Since the literature does not provide, as far as we know, the work function of contamination-grown amorphous carbon, its value must be determined experimentally, in our case through Fowler-Nordheim (F-N) plots. This quantity and others can be derived once the electric field F at the emitting surface is known. Since the geometry of our emitters is reasonably well known from the fabrication procedure and subsequent electron microscopy, it is possible to find a satisfactory value for F by computation.