Spectroscopic studies of field-induced electron emission from isolated microstructures

  • Anthony D. Archer

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


A detailed investigation has been undertaken into the field induced electron emission (FIEE) mechanism that occurs at microscopically localised `sites' on uncoated and dielectric coated metallic electrodes. These processes have been investigated using two dedicated experimental systems that were developed for this study. The first is a novel combined photo/field emission microscope, which employs a UV source to stimulate photo-electrons from the sample surface in order to generate a topographical image. This system utilises an electrostatic lens column to provide identical optical properties under the different operating conditions required for purely topographical and combined photo/field imaging. The system has been demonstrated to have a resolution approaching 1m. Emission images have been obtained from carbon emission sites using this system to reveal that emission may occur from the edge triple junction or from the bulk of the carbon particle. An existing UHV electron spectrometer has been extensively rebuilt to incorporate a computer control and data acquisition system, improved sample handling and manipulation and a specimen heating stage. Details are given of a comprehensive study into the effects of sample heating on the emission process under conditions of both bulk and transient heating. Similar studies were also performed under conditions of both zero and high applied field. These show that the properties of emission sites are strongly temperature and field dependent thus indicating that the emission process is `non-metallic' in nature. The results have been shown to be consistent with an existing hot electron emission model.
Date of AwardOct 1992
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorRodney V. Latham (Supervisor)


  • filed electron emission
  • electron spectroscopy
  • high voltage vacuum insulation
  • hot electrons
  • photo-electron microscopy

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