. Space Industry and Business News .

When it comes to churning out electrons, metal glass beats plastics
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Nov 23, 2011

Though other composites of bulk metallic glass and carbon nanotubes have been reported before, this is the first time that such a system is being used for a functional device, such as for field emission.

Field emission devices, which produce a steady stream of electrons, have a host of consumer, industrial, and research applications. Recent designs based on nanotubes and other nanomaterials embedded in plastics show initial promise, but have a number of drawbacks that hinder their wide-scale application.

The embedded nanotubes, which serve as the source for the electrons, also enable the normally inert plastic to conduct electricity. This has the desired effect of producing a versatile and easily manufactured field emission device.

But since plastics are, by nature, poor conductors of electricity, they require a high concentration of nanomaterials to function. Plastics also have low thermal stability and do not hold up well under the excess heat produced by prolonged operation.

A team of researchers from Monash University in Australia, in collaboration with colleagues from CSIRO Process Science and Engineering, has developed a promising and easily manufactured replacement for plastics: amorphous bulk metallic glass (ABM).

These ABM alloys form amorphous materials as they cool, giving them more of a glass-like behavior. In a paper accepted for publication in the AIP's journal Applied Physics Letters, the researchers used an alloy made from magnesium, copper, and gadolinium.

This metallic glass has many of plastics' desirable features. It can conform to a variety of shapes, be produced in bulk, and serve as an effective matrix for the nanotubes.

Besides its high conductivity, the metallic glass' highly robust thermal properties mean that it can withstand high temperatures and still retain its shape and durability.

According to the researchers, these advantages, alongside excellent electron emission properties, make these composites one of the best reported options for electron emission applications to date.

Though other composites of bulk metallic glass and carbon nanotubes have been reported before, this is the first time that such a system is being used for a functional device, such as for field emission.

Electron microscopes, microwave or X-ray generation, nano-electronics, and modern display devices are all examples of the potential applications of this technology, the researchers note.

"High performance bulk metallic glass/carbon nanotube composite cathodes for electron field emission" is published in Applied Physics Letters. Authors: Pejman Hojati-Talemi (1, 2), Mark A. Gibson (3), Daniel East (1), and Geroge P. Simon (1).

Related Links
American Institute of Physics
Space Technology News - Applications and Research

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Multidisciplinary team of researchers develop world's lightest material
Irvine, CA (SPX) Nov 21, 2011
A team of researchers from UC Irvine, HRL Laboratories and the California Institute of Technology have developed the world's lightest material - with a density of 0.9 mg/cc - about one hundred times lighter than Styrofoam. Their findings appear in Science. The new material redefines the limits of lightweight materials because of its unique "micro-lattice" cellular architecture. The researc ... read more

Butterfly wings inspire design of water-repellent surface

When it comes to churning out electrons, metal glass beats plastics

China overtakes US as top smartphone market: study

Perfect Black Coating Raises Intriguing Possibilities in Astronomy

Lockheed Martin AMF JTRS Team Demonstrates Communications and Tactical Data Sharing At Army Exercise

Boeing Ships WGS-4 to Cape Canaveral for January Launch

Harris to maintain satellite ground system

Raytheon Reaches Fielding Milestone in Airborne Communications System

Mobile Launcher Moves to Launch Pad

Rocket engineer Wolfgang Jung a logistics expert for space science

Arianespace to launch satellite for DIRECTV Latin America

Delta Mariner offloads launch components at Vandenberg

ITT Exelis and Chronos develop offerings for the Interference, Detection and Mitigation market

GMV Supports Successful Launch of Europe's Galileo

In GPS case, US court debates '1984' scenario

Galileo satellites handed over to control centre in Germany

Brazil a serious rival in air transport

Wolfram Alpha shows flights overhead

Boeing Projects $450 Billion Market for Airplanes in the Middle East

Lockheed Martin Celebrates Opening of NextGen Technology Test Bed

In new quantum-dot LED design, researchers turn troublesome molecules to their advantage

Researchers watch a next-gen memory bit switch in real time

An about-face on electrical conductivity at the interface

Graphene applications in electronics and photonics

Landsat 5 Mission in Jeopardy

China sends two satellites into space

Satellite images help species conservation

Student Cloud Observations Help Validate NASA Satellites

Environmental troubles growing in Mid-East Gulf

Using air pollution thresholds to protect and restore ecosystem health

Study finds that even the cleanest wastewater contributes to more super bacteria

Apple opens talks with China environment groups


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2011 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement