Vacuum Nanoelectric Triode with CNT Wedge Emitter

Period of Performance: 06/01/2012 - 03/04/2013


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Xidex Corp.
8906 WALL ST STE 703
Austin, TX 78754
Principal Investigator


ABSTRACT: Xidex Corporation proposes to demonstrate a compact E-band capable vacuum nanoelectronic device with parameters such as high power output, low gate voltage, high cut-off frequency, and low power consumption, that are competitive with parameters of conventional solid state transistors. Our approach to reaching this objective is to fabricate a CNT-based field emission triode with wedge shaped cathode that can operate in the 70-76 GHz and 81-86 GHz frequency ranges. All the electrodes comprising the device are made in a single plane and where the electrons emit laterally parallel to the substrate. The main advantage of this innovative lateral field emission triode is simple and controllable manufacturing. In vertically oriented field emitter designs there is a requirement to make multiple masks and layers to fabricate the layers of anode, gate, cathode, and the insulator in-between each layer. The cost of fabrication and the difficulties of precisely controlling the vertical gaps and openings make this approach prohibitive for commercial manufacturing. With a planar electrode design a single mask can be used to lithographically make the all the electrodes (anode, cathode, and gates) at once. In addition, using lithography the electrode gaps can be fabricated with great precision and in a highly scalable manner. BENEFIT: Vacuum nanoelectronic devices resulting from the project will be commercialized as new products targeted for entry into important military and commercial markets for power electronics. Electronic warfare applications include amplification of incoming signals from enemy radar or communications systems to enable threat-protection systems for ships, aircraft and high-value land assets, active decoys such as airborne repeaters and high-power off-board decoys for protecting naval assets, and non-lethal weapons operating at long range with minimal risk of injury. Military communications systems, including satellite communications, will benefit from the radiation and temperature insensitivity of vacuum nanoelectronic devices. Communications also represents one of the largest commercial markets for power amplifiers, driven by rapid growth of RF power amplifier and transceiver components as a result of current and anticipated demand for wireless handsets and infrastructure.