NASA 1996 SBIR Phase I


PROPOSAL NUMBER : 96-1 08.02-1100

PROJECT TITLE : Carbon Nanotube-Based Vacuum Microelectronics Devices

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)

Practical vacuum microelectronics devices require robust electron emitters. Carbon nanotubes are robust, stable, low-field, high-current electron emitters, but a practical method to manufacture gated cathodes is required. Recently, Advanced Technology Materials, Inc. (ATMI) developed a novel technique to fabricate carbon nanotube emitters in patterned areas. We propose to employ this new carbon nanotube fabrication approach to produce a robust, high-performance vacuum microelectronics amplifier. The proposed amplifier will be compact, efficient, inexpensive and have a high cut-off frequency. The carbon nanotube-based vacuum microelectronics device should operate well over a wide temperature range and should be stable in harsh environments, including in the presence of ionizing radiation. Compared to other published emitter-based vacuum devices, the proposed amplifier can tolerate poorer vacuum, will have higher gain, will operate at lower voltage and have a longer lifetime. The objective of the Phase I program is to demonstrate the feasibility of fabricating carbon nanotube-based device by fabricating a prototype amplifier. In Phase II, we plan to optimize the device design and fabrication processes and identify a partner for Phase III commercialization.
POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS
The proposed vacuum microelectronics amplifier can be used in microwave electronics and satellite communications. The carbon nanotube emitters and the fabrication technology developed in this proposal can be utilized in a variety of practical and manufacturable vacuum microelectronics devices.
NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
Xueping Xu
Advanced Technology Materials, Inc.
7 Commerce Dr.
Danbury, CT 06810
NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR
Advanced Technology Materials, Inc.
7 Commerce Dr.
Danbury, CT 06810