Evaluation of High Field and/or Local Heating Based Material Degradation of Nanoscale Metal Emitter Tips: A Molecular Dynamics Analysis

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Abstract

A molecular dynamics (MD) model is used to study the potential for mass ejection from a metal nanoprotrusion, driven by high fields and temperature increases. Three-dimensional calculations of the electric fields surrounding the metal emitter are used to obtain the Maxwell stress on the metal. This surface loading is coupled into MD simulations. Our results show the possibility of mass ejection from the nanotip and indicate that both larger aspect ratios and higher local temperatures would drive the instability. Hence it is predicted that in a nonuniform distribution of emitters, the longer and thinner sites would suffer the most damage, generally in keeping with the trends of a recent experimental report. A possible hypothesis for mass ejection even in the absence of a distinct nanoprotrusion is also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185202
JournalJournal of Physics D
StatePublished - Apr 2017

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