Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL, US
Current electron sources used for the accelerators are either based on photoemission or thermionic emission technology, which suffers from various limitations such as high cost, scalability, low output emission current, and robustness. Field emission cathode technology eliminates most of these limitations but never have been implemented for use in accelerators since these FECs have to be fabricated in atomically sharp tip configuration involving several microfabrication steps, compromising scaled-up fabrication and fabrication for complex form factors, plus often times they degrade prematurely due to high electric field and thermal load on atomically sharp tips. Nitrogen incorporated ultrananocrystalline diamond developed at Argonne national laboratory, has unique nanostructure that provides excellent field emission properties in planar configuration eliminating issues related to microfabrication as well as long term current stability. The (N)UNCD FECs developed by Argonne-Euclid TechLabs have demonstrated their feasibility for normal conducting radio frequency based linacs. At gradients 45–65 MV/m, peak currents of 1–80 mA (current densities 0.3–25 mA/cm2) were demonstrated. This brings a paradigm shift in developing new generation of electron source based on (N) UNCD for linear accelerators. The same technology could be used for accelerators for rare isotope production vital for medical diagnostic, and semiconductor industry (lithography).
Primary Application Area: Materials, Chemical
Technology Development Status: Prototype
Technology Readiness Level: TRL 5
Vetted Programs/Awards: SBIR for Euclid Techlabs
Organization Type: Academic/Gov Lab
GOVT/EXTERNAL FUNDING SOURCES
External Funding to Date: Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, Advanced Manufacturing Office, Department of Energy Technology
Commercialization Fund($150,000), under Agreement number 32138, Funding action number 69530.