Pyroelectric electron emission paper is No. 1 download in Applied Physics Letters


MechSE's William P. King, College of Engineering Bliss Professor
MechSE's William P. King, College of Engineering Bliss Professor
Applied Physics Letters has featured a paper by Illinois engineering personnel including MechSE Professor William P. King. Patrick C. Fletcher, formerly of King’s research group, as well as Vengadesh Kumara R. Mangalam and Lane W. Martin from Materials Science and Engineering, were also authors on the paper.

The paper has been the No. 1 download on the site over the past four months.

In summary they state: "In this work, we demonstrate electron emission using the pyroelectric effect from 30 nm thick films of PbZrxTi1-xO3 (PZT). These pyroelectric thin films are about three orders of magnitude thinner than state of the art materials for pyroelectric emission. This is the first time that pyroelectric electron emission has been observed in films thinner than 50 μm, which contradicts conventional wisdom that pyroelectric emission is not possible from films thinner than 1 μm. The emitter performance is enabled by high-quality epitaxial PZT films, nanometer-sharp emitter tips for field enhancement, and partial assistance from applied electric fields."

The full paper can be accessed at the Applied Physics Letters website.