Nanodiamonds for field emission: state of the art
The aim of this review is to highlight the recent advances and the main remaining challenges related to the issue of electron field emission (FE) from nanodiamonds. The roadmap for FE vacuum microelectronic devices envisages that nanodiamonds could become very important in a short time. The intrinsic properties of the nanodiamond materials indeed meet many of the requirements of cutting-edge technologies and further benefits can be obtained by tailored improvements of processing methodologies. The current strategies used to modulate the morphological and structural features of diamond to produce highly performing emitting systems are reported and discussed. The focus is on the current understanding of the FE process from nanodiamond-based materials and on the major concepts used to improve their performance. A short survey of non-conventional microsized cold cathodes based on nanodiamonds is also reported.