The effect of argon on the electron field emission properties of α-C:N thin films


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Amorphous carbon nitride (α-C:N) thin films were synthesized on silicon as electron emitters by the electron cyclotron resonance chemical vapor deposition (ECR-CVD) system in which a negative dc bias was applied to the graphite substrate holder and a mixture of C2H2 and N2 was used as precursors. The addition of Ar combined with the application of a negative dc bias can increase nitrogen content (N/C) measured by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), eliminate the dangling bonds in the film determined by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, decrease the film thickness measured by field emission scanning electron microscope (FE-SEM), increase the film roughness measured by atomic force microscope (AFM) and raise the graphitic content examined by Raman spectroscopy. The result shows that the onset emission field of α-C:N with Ar addition to the precursors can be as low as 4.5 V μm−1 compared with 9.5 V μm−1 of the film without the addition of Ar.
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Key words
A. Carbon films,B. Chemical vapor deposition,C. Infrared spectroscopy,X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy,D. Field emission
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