Influence of high-energy electron irradiation on field emission properties of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) films
The effect of very high energy electron beam irradiation on the field emission characteristics of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) has been investigated. The MWCNTs films deposited on silicon (Si) substrates were irradiated with 6 MeV electron beam at different fluence of 1×1015, 2×1015 and 3×1015 electrons/cm2. The irradiated films were characterized using scanning electron microscope (SEM) and micro-Raman spectrometer. The SEM analysis clearly revealed a change in surface morphology of the films upon irradiation. The Raman spectra of the irradiated films show structural damage caused by the interaction of high-energy electrons. The field emission studies were carried out in a planar diode configuration at the base pressure of ∼1×10-8 mbar. The values of the threshold field, required to draw an emission current density of ∼1 μA/cm2, are found to be ∼0.52, 1.9, 1.3 and 0.8 V/μm for untreated, irradiated with fluence of 1×1015, 2×1015 and 3×1015 electrons/cm2. The irradiated films exhibit better emission current stability as compared to the untreated film. The improved field emission properties of the irradiated films have been attributed to the structural damage as revealed from the Raman studies.