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The Controlled Growth of Vertically-Aligned ZnO Nanocones by Changing the O2 Concentration and Research on Their Field Emission Properties

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The specific O2 introduction and shut-off procedures in chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process were adapted to grow ZnO nanoislands, nanotowers and nanocones successfully on silicon (Si) substrates coated with ZnO buffer layers, and the relatively abundant O2 concentration plays the crucial role in the formation of ZnO nanocones. ZnO nanocone arrays were grown on ZnO buffer layers with different thicknesses of 60, 160, 320, and 440 nm, and their field emission (FE) properties were studied. The results show that ZnO buffer layers with thicknesses of 160 nm and 320 nm exhibit flatter surfaces leading to the higher areal densities of ZnO nanocones. These nanocones, grew along [0001] direction and contained a large number of V O defects with lengths of ∼3 μm, exhibit sharp tips and large base sizes varying from several hundreds of nanometers to several micrometers. ZnO nanocones grown on 160 nm ZnO buffer layer with the sharpest tips exhibit the highest areal density of 3.3 × 108/cm2 and the lowest V O content, which leads to the lowest turn-on electric field of 3.8 V/μm and the highest field enhancement factor of 3735. The effect of the buffer layer thickness on the FE properties in nanocone arrays has been discussed comprehensively.
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Document Type: Short Communication

Publication date: September 1, 2017

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  • Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Letters (NNL) is a multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal consolidating nanoscale research activities in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine into a single and unique reference source. NNL provides the means for scientists, engineers, medical experts and technocrats to publish original short research articles as communications/letters of important new scientific and technological findings, encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of the physical sciences, engineering and medicine.
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