Pyroelectric electron emission from nanometer-thick films of PbZr xTi1-xO3

Patrick C. Fletcher, Vengadesh Kumara R. Mangalam, Lane W. Martin, William P. King

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report pyroelectric emission from PbZrxTi1-xO 3 (PZT) thin films on nanometer-sharp tips. The epitaxial PZT films are 30 nm thick and grown directly on single-crystal silicon tips. Pyroelectric emission occurs for heating rates of 50 °C/min in a 20 V/μm external field. The emission current is a maximum of 240 nA when the heating rate is 100 °C/min and the electric field strength is 6.7 V/μm. The emitted charge is ∼7 of that expected for a perfect thin film emitter of epitaxial PbZr xTi1-xO3. We calculate that pyroelectric emission can occur without an applied field if the heating rate exceeds 4.0 × 107 °C/min.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number192908
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number19
StatePublished - May 13 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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