Acta Phys. -Chim. Sin. ›› 2008, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (08): 1411-1416.doi: 10.1016/S1872-1508(08)60061-3

• ARTICLE • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Enhancement of Field Emission Characteristics for Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes Treated with a Mixed Solution of Chromic Trioxide and Nitric Acid

LEE Shih-Fong, CHANG Yung-Ping, LEE Li-Ying   

  1. Department of Electrical Engineering, Dayeh University, Changhua 500, Taiwan Province, P. R. China
  • Received:2008-03-25 Revised:2008-04-29 Published:2008-08-06
  • Contact: CHANG Yung-Ping

Abstract: A simple acid treatment method was applied to functionalize the surface and to modify the structures of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (CNTs) grown on silicon substrates using a mixed solution of chromic trioxide (CrO3) and nitric acid (HNO3). Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Raman spectroscopy, and energy dispersive spectrometer (EDS) were employed to investigate the mechanismcausing the modified field emission (FE) properties of the CNT films. After 20 min of CrO3+HNO3 treatment, the emitted currents were enhanced by more than one order of magnitude compared with those of the untreated CNTs. This large increases in emitted current can be attributed to the favorable surface morphologies, open-ended structures, and highly curved CNT surfaces in the CNT films. These factors altogether caused an increase in the field enhancement factors of CNTs. We also demonstrated that using a mixed solution of CrO3+HNO3 post-treatment exhibited a higher emission current and a lower turn-on electric field than in the CNTs treated with HNO3. The method provides a simple, economical, and effective way to enhance the CNT field emission properties.

Key words: Chromic trioxide, Nitric acid, Carbon nanotubes, Field emission


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