Spindt tip

Spindt tip

A Spindt tip is a tiny conical tip microfabricated on a substrate, which emits electrons by field emission. It is named after its inventor Charles A. Spindt who developed this technology at SRI International.

Because of its small size (micrometer scale, now down to nanometer scale), the tip creates a high electric field with a relatively low voltage. With microelectronics technology, it is possible to pack a high number of such tips on a substrate, thereby increasing the number of electrons generated.

One of the earliest article describing a single emitter tip microfabricated on a wafer dates back to 1968. Spindt, Shoulders and Heynick filed a U.S. Patent in 1970 for a vacuum device comprising an array of emitter tips.

This electron-emitting apparatus, commonly known as field emitter array, finds applications in electronics, particularly in a flat panel display technology called Field emission displays.

References

Patents

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