Microstructure effect on field emission from tetrahedral amorphous carbon films annealed in nitrogen and acetylene ambient

Y. B. Zhang, Shu Ping Lau, L. Huang, Z. Sun, B. K. Tay

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Tetrahedral amorphous carbon (ta-C) films have been deposited by filtered cathodic vacuum arc technique. The samples were then annealed at various temperatures in nitrogen and acetylene ambient. The surface morphologies and microstructure of the films were characterized using atomic force microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, visible and ultraviolet Raman spectroscopy. A thin layer of amorphous carbon was deposited on the surface of the ta-C films after annealed at 700 and 800 °C while submicro crystalline pyrolytic graphite was formed on the surface of the ta-C film annealed at 900 °C. The surface layer was found to enhance the sp2clustering of the underlying ta-C layer. Field emission results reveal that the sp2cluster size plays an important role in electron field emission properties. The threshold field decreases as the sp2cluster size increases. For the film annealed at 800 °C, the lowest threshold field and the largest cluster size concurred.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-138
Number of pages6
JournalDiamond and Related Materials
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Atomic force microscopy
  • Cathodic vacuum arc
  • Tetrahedral amorphous carbon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Cite this