MRS Proceedings


Ultra thin transition metal oxide coatings on diamond for thermionic applications

2012 MRS Fall Meeting.

Amit K. Tiwaria1, Jonathan P. Gossa1, Patrick R. Briddona1, Nick G. Wrighta1, Alton B. Horsfalla1 and Mark J. Raysona2

a1 Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Newcastle University, NE1 7RU, UK

a2 Eng. Science and Mathematics, Luleå University of Technology, Luleå S–97187, Sweden


We have investigated, using density functional simulations, the energetics and the electronic properties of oxides of selected transition metals, TMs, adsorbed onto a dia-mond (001) surface. We find that stoichiometric oxides of TMs, particularly Ti and Zn,influence the electron affinity of diamond strongly. The electron affinities of stoichiomet-ric oxides of Ti and Zn are calculated to be around −3 eV, significantly higher than 1.9 eV of commonly used H–termination. The reactions of TMs with an oxygenated diamond are found to be highly exothermic. Based upon the energetics and the electronic properties, we propose that in the regime of ultra thin films, oxides of TMs are promising options for surface coating of diamond–based electron emitters, as these coatings are compatible with semiconductor device fabrication processes, while having the benefit of inducing a large negative electron affinity.

Key Words:

  • diamond;
  • thermionic emission;
  • electrical properties