This paper considers the theory of electron field emission from nanoscale emitters with particular focus on thermal and electrical energy transport. The foundational theory of field emission is explored, and a model is presented that accounts explicitly for the energy band curvature produced by nanoscale tip emitters. The results indicate that the inclusion of band curvature strongly influences the energetic distribution of electrons for emitter radii less than 50 nm. The energy exchange process between emitted and replacement electrons is shown to allow high local energy transfer rates that can be exploited in direct thermal-to-electrical energy conversion processes. The dependence of energy conversion rates on material and operational parameters is demonstrated. Throughout the paper, opportunities for further research involving nanoscale heat transfer, materials development, and modeling are highlighted.
Thermal and Electrical Energy Transport and Conversion in Nanoscale Electron Field Emission Processes
Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division for publication in the JOURNAL OF HEAT TRANSFER. Manuscript received by the Heat Transfer Division May 2, 2001; revision received November 5, 2001. Associate Editor: A. Majumdar.
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Fisher, T. S., and Walker, D. G. (September 11, 2002). "Thermal and Electrical Energy Transport and Conversion in Nanoscale Electron Field Emission Processes ." ASME. J. Heat Transfer. October 2002; 124(5): 954–962. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.1494091
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