Valeriy Luchnikov and his colleagues from Université de Haute-Alsace have discovered micropyramids that grow on the surface of carbon microtubes heated in Argon atmosphere.
The micropyramids are formed by soot nanoparticles and form almost regular hexagonal arrays. These micropyramids are very soft but can harden upon further sintering.
Our in-situ SEM nanoprobing solution was used to characterize the tunneling current emitted by the tips of the micropyramids: Turns out that they act as field emitters. Authors of the study suggest that such micropyramids grown on flat surfaces could be used as field emitter arrays, as well as superhydrophobic and bactericidal coatings, or ultrablack materials.
Read the detailed description of the micropyramids growth, formation mechanism and characterization here.
Contact us if you are interested in electrical characterization of micro- and nanostructures inside an SEM.