(Received June 21, 2001; accepted for publication August 29, 2001)
A new type of ceramic field emitter was designed using the chemical vapor deposition process. There are two major features of the materials used to construct the emitter: an electrically conductive Al:ZnO whisker with an extremely sharp tip and amorphous carbon and related coating materials with a relatively low electron affinity at the tip region. Some aggregations of whiskers were synthesized as a function of the radius of curvature at the whisker tip. In addition, four types of amorphous coatings were provided for this experiment: C:H, CNx:H with C–H and N–H terminations, CNx:H with N–H termination and CNx films. The field emission property was influenced not only by the radius of curvature at the tip but also by the termination structure of the amorphous carbon and related films.