Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering - (M.S.)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

William N. Carr

Second Advisor

Marek Sosnowski

Third Advisor

Gerald Martin Whitman


Vertical and lateral configurations of the vacuum microelectronic device have been modeled using the simulation tools. Both cone and ridge cathode structures are used. Simulation results are compared with experimental data where available. These device structures include cathode, extraction grid, anode, and deflectors. The electric field at the tip of the cathode has been calculated for tip radius as small as 0.1nm. The model used takes into account the effect of potential on all electrodes on the E-field at the cathode tip. Also the effect of cathode geometry on the E-field is detailed.

Static characteristics are based on a new heuristic model proposed in this study. This new model has been developed based on the Fowler-Nordheim relationship and experimental data. The Fowler-Nordheim equation has been simplified and the coefficients are matched to available experimental data for the vertical and lateral devices. A comparison of the experimental data to the simulation results shows good correlation Using this model, cathode current, anode current and transconductance, for different geometries are calculated. It is found that the vertical device has a larger cathode electric field and anode current than the lateral device for similar cathode structures and electrode potentials.

Dynamic characteristics are also discussed in this thesis. The calculation of the interelectrode capacitance shows that the vertical device has much larger distributed capacitance than the lateral and hence has lower maximum frequency.



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