Displacement sensing by field emission with nanometer resolution

A.J. le Fèbre, Martin Herman Siekman, Leon Abelmann, J.C. Lodder

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    4 Citations (Scopus)
    133 Downloads (Pure)


    Field emission is used as a displacement sensing method, exploiting the exponential relation between field emission current and electrode gap. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) probes have been used as field emission source to measure I/V characteristics which were found to correspond well to theory. The field emission sensor was operated in a more linear regime by using feedback on the position of the probe in order to maintain a constant current. The sensitivity of the sensor for displacement was found to be 0.26 V/nm at a range of ~100 nm. From the experimental data, typical parameters for the Fowler-Nordheim equation were deduced and used to model the sensor performance. The measurements confirm that field emission can be applied to sense the distance between a probe tip and sample with <20 nm resolution.
    Original languageUndefined
    Title of host publicationTransducers 2007 & Eurosensors XXI Digest of Technical Papers
    Place of PublicationLos Alamitos
    Number of pages4
    ISBN (Print)1-4244-0841-5
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007
    Event21st European Conference on Solid-State Transducers, Eurosensors XXI - Lyon, France
    Duration: 10 Jun 200714 Jun 2007
    Conference number: 21

    Publication series

    PublisherIEEE Computer Society Press


    Conference21st European Conference on Solid-State Transducers, Eurosensors XXI
    Abbreviated titleEurosensors


    • TST-uSPAM: micro Scanning Probe Array Memory
    • METIS-245713
    • TST-SMI: Formerly in EWI-SMI
    • EWI-9810
    • IR-64020

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