Flexible electrode structures for thermo-tunneling applications

Eniko T Enikov, Carlos Gamez, Shezaan Kanjiyani, Mahdi Ganji, Joshua Gill

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Combined thermionic emission and tunneling of hot electrons (thermo-tunneling) has emerged as a potential new solid-state cooling technology. Practical implementation of thermo-tunneling, however, requires the formation of a nanometer-sized gap spanning macroscopically significant surfaces. Thermo-tunneling of hot electrons across a few-nanometer gap has application to vacuum electronics, flat panel displays, and holds great potential in thermo-electric cooling and energy generation. Development of new thermo-tunneling applications requires creation of a stable nanometer gap between two surfaces. This presentation is focused on our effort to investigate the feasibility of creating such gaps using distributed electro-magnetic forces arising in thin-film flexible structures. Early efforts based on rigid electrodes showed that the effective tunneling approaches 400 square-micrometers, which albeit small, could lead to useful practical systems. In this presentation, we report a theoretical and experimental investigation of a thin-electrode system which could lead to further increase on the effective tunneling area. The device under study consists of a thin membrane collector electrode (anode) suspended over the emitting electrode (cathode). The structure is placed in a vacuum enclosure with an externally generated magnetic field perpendicular to the current flow in the membrane. The resulting Lorentz force is then directed upwards, separating the two surfaces. A mathematical model of the steady-state operation of the device is presented along with predictions of the contact area and tunneling current. Essential output parameters of the model include a central contact area measured by its length (delta) and the thermo-tunneling current. Both parameters are determined as a function of the externally applied external potential and magnetic field. Numerical solutions of the model show two possible operating modes: (1) symmetric deformation with negligibly small current; and (2) asymmetric mode where the B-field controls the current and contact area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationASME 2011 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE 2011
Pages1657-1663
Number of pages7
Volume4
EditionPARTS A AND B
StatePublished - 2011
EventASME 2011 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE 2011 - Denver, CO, United States
Duration: Nov 11 2011Nov 17 2011

Other

OtherASME 2011 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE 2011
CountryUnited States
CityDenver, CO
Period11/11/1111/17/11

Fingerprint

Electrodes
Hot electrons
Vacuum
Magnetic fields
Cooling
Membranes
Thermionic emission
Lorentz force
Flat panel displays
Flexible structures
Enclosures
Anodes
Cathodes
Electronic equipment
Mathematical models
Thin films

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering

Cite this

Enikov, E. T., Gamez, C., Kanjiyani, S., Ganji, M., & Gill, J. (2011). Flexible electrode structures for thermo-tunneling applications. In ASME 2011 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE 2011 (PARTS A AND B ed., Vol. 4, pp. 1657-1663)

Flexible electrode structures for thermo-tunneling applications. / Enikov, Eniko T; Gamez, Carlos; Kanjiyani, Shezaan; Ganji, Mahdi; Gill, Joshua.

ASME 2011 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE 2011. Vol. 4 PARTS A AND B. ed. 2011. p. 1657-1663.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Enikov, ET, Gamez, C, Kanjiyani, S, Ganji, M & Gill, J 2011, Flexible electrode structures for thermo-tunneling applications. in ASME 2011 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE 2011. PARTS A AND B edn, vol. 4, pp. 1657-1663, ASME 2011 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE 2011, Denver, CO, United States, 11/11/11.
Enikov ET, Gamez C, Kanjiyani S, Ganji M, Gill J. Flexible electrode structures for thermo-tunneling applications. In ASME 2011 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE 2011. PARTS A AND B ed. Vol. 4. 2011. p. 1657-1663
Enikov, Eniko T ; Gamez, Carlos ; Kanjiyani, Shezaan ; Ganji, Mahdi ; Gill, Joshua. / Flexible electrode structures for thermo-tunneling applications. ASME 2011 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE 2011. Vol. 4 PARTS A AND B. ed. 2011. pp. 1657-1663
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