Sunday, October 09, 2011

US Patent 8030833 - Metal nanowire electron emitter

Carbon nanomaterials have been popular  materials considered for Surface Emission Displays (SEDs) or Field Emission Displays (FEDs) due to their high emission efficiency but fabrication of large area arrays can be difficult. This patent from the University of Illinois teaches alternative nanomaterials for field emission based on gold or silver nanowires. Claim 1 reads:

1. An apparatus, comprising:

a substrate;

a plurality of freestanding nanowires attached to the substrate, the nanowires each being monocrystalline and including at least one of gold and silver; and

wherein the nanowires each include a respective free end, each have a first dimension of 500 nanometers or less, and each have a second dimension extending from the substrate to the respective free end, the second dimension being at least 5 times greater than the first dimension; and

wherein the nanowires contact a substrate surface composed of a dielectric.