Field Emission and Cathodoluminescence of ZnS Hexagonal Pyramids of Zinc Blende Structured Single Crystals

Authors

  • Zhi-Gang Chen,

    1. Shenyang National Laboratory for Materials Science Institute of Metal Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences Shenyang 110016 (Peoples′ R. China)
    2. ARC Centre of Excellence for Functional Nanomaterials School of Engineering and AIBN The University of Queensland Brisbane QLD 4072 (Australia)
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  • Jin Zou,

    1. School of Engineering and Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis The University of Queensland Brisbane QLD 4072 (Australia)
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  • Dai-Wei Wang,

    1. Shenyang National Laboratory for Materials Science Institute of Metal Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences Shenyang 110016 (Peoples′ R. China)
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  • Li-Chang Yin,

    1. Shenyang National Laboratory for Materials Science Institute of Metal Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences Shenyang 110016 (Peoples′ R. China)
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  • Gang Liu,

    1. Shenyang National Laboratory for Materials Science Institute of Metal Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences Shenyang 110016 (Peoples′ R. China)
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  • Qingfeng Liu,

    1. Shenyang National Laboratory for Materials Science Institute of Metal Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences Shenyang 110016 (Peoples′ R. China)
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  • Cheng-Hua Sun,

    1. ARC Centre of Excellence for Functional Nanomaterials School of Engineering and AIBN The University of Queensland Brisbane QLD 4072 (Australia)
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  • Xiangdong Yao,

    1. ARC Centre of Excellence for Functional Nanomaterials School of Engineering and AIBN The University of Queensland Brisbane QLD 4072 (Australia)
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  • Feng Li,

    1. Shenyang National Laboratory for Materials Science Institute of Metal Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences Shenyang 110016 (Peoples′ R. China)
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  • Xiao-Li Yuan,

    1. Advanced Electronic Materials Center National Institute for Materials Science 1-1 Namiki, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0044 (Japan)
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  • Takashi Sekiguchi,

    1. Advanced Electronic Materials Center National Institute for Materials Science 1-1 Namiki, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0044 (Japan)
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  • Gao Qing Lu,

    Corresponding author
    1. ARC Centre of Excellence for Functional Nanomaterials School of Engineering and AIBN The University of Queensland Brisbane QLD 4072 (Australia)
    • ARC Centre of Excellence for Functional Nanomaterials School of Engineering and AIBN The University of Queensland Brisbane QLD 4072 (Australia).
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  • Hui-Ming Cheng

    Corresponding author
    1. Shenyang National Laboratory for Materials Science Institute of Metal Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences Shenyang 110016 (Peoples′ R. China)
    • Shenyang National Laboratory for Materials Science Institute of Metal Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences Shenyang 110016 (Peoples′ R. China).
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Abstract

Single-crystal hexagonal pyramids of zinc blende ZnS are fabricated by facile thermal evaporation in an ammonia atmosphere at 1150 °C. It is found that ZnS pyramids grow along the [111] crystal axis and possess a sharp tip with a diameter of ∼10 nm and a micrometer-sized base. The structural model and growth mechanism are proposed based on crystallographic characteristics. This unique ZnS pyramid structure exhibits a low turn-on field (2.81 V µm−1), a high field-enhancement factor (over 3000), a large field-emission current density (20 mA cm−2), and good stability with very small fluctuation (0.9%). These superior field-emission properties are clearly attributed to the pyramid morphology, with micrometer-sized bases and nanotips, and high crystallinity. Moreover, a stable UV emission of 337 nm at room temperature is observed and can be ascribed to the band emission of the zinc blende phase. These results suggest that the ZnS hexagonal pyramids can be expected to find promising applications as field emitters and optoelectronic devices.

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