Amorphous carbon coating for improving the field emission performance of SiC nanowire cores†
Decorating silicon carbide nanowires with a low work function material is a simple and effective strategy to improve their field emission performance. In the present work, amorphous carbon (a-C) coatings have been successfully decorated onto the surface of SiC nanowires via chemical vapor reaction (CVR) using the Fe–Ni bibasic catalyst. Field emission measurements suggest that the resultant products have an excellent performance with a low turn-on field of 0.5 V μm−1 and a low threshold field of 2.1 V μm−1, indicating their enormous potential for applications in electron emitter fields. A novel electronic transport mechanism was first proposed to explain the improvement in the field emission performances, and the method and growth mechanism could be an effective clue and example for the synthesis of other coaxial nanostructures.