Fabrication, characterization and integration of carbon nanotube cathodes for field emission x-ray source Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
Creator
  • Calderón-Colón, Xiomara
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Applied Physical Sciences
Abstract
  • Carbon nanotube (CNT) field emitters are now being evaluated for a wide range of vacuum electronic applications. Our laboratory pioneer in the development of CNT based field emission X-ray source technology, which has the potential to fundamentally change how X-ray radiation is generated and utilized. Applications of the CNT field emission X-ray source technology in a wide range of applications including biomedical imaging, radiation therapy, and homeland security are being actively pursued. However, problems with the performance of the CNT cathodes for X-ray generation including short lifetime at high current density, instability under high voltage, poor emission uniformity, and cathode-to-cathode inconsistency are still major obstacles for device applications. The goal of this thesis work is the development and optimization of an electrophoretic process to fabricate composite CNT films with controlled nanotube orientation and surface density, and enhanced adhesion. The CNT cathode fabrication process consist in a combination of photolithography and electrophoretic deposition (EPD) method where parameters such as SU-8 photoresist thickness, deposition time, and deposition voltage were varied to fabricate CNT cathodes with the required properties for X-ray generation. Also the development of CNT alcohol-based suspensions in context of the EPD method requirements with excellent long term stability has been accomplished. The CNT cathodes fabricated by EPD have significantly enhanced macroscopic field emission current density and long-term stability under high operating voltages. Also these CNT cathodes compared to others reported previously show significant improved field emission properties with small cathode-to-cathode variation. The integration, characterization, and evaluation of these CNT cathodes into a micro focus field emission X-ray source has been achieved with excellent X-ray source characteristics and performance including X-ray flux and stability at the maximum current and power allowed for a fixed anode. Also, with similar performance afforded in comparison with a conventional thermionic X-ray tube operating at the same focal spot size. The application of this CNT electron source for high-resolution X-ray imaging has been demonstrated.
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  • Zhou, Otto
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