UW-Madison Electrical and Computer Engineering Associate Professor Robert Blick and colleagues in Germany have demonstrated a new nanoscale mechanism for field emission that could lead to a new type of energy efficient flat-panel display. The team's article in Physical Review Letters describes how a nanoscale gold-tipped island is able to mechanically oscillate between two facing electrodes, which provide recharging and detection of the emission current. Additionally, unlike many nanoscale experiments in field emission, the device does not need to be cryogenically cooled.
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