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On the need for a tunneling pre-factor in Fowler-Nordheim tunneling theory

Forbes, RG (2008) On the need for a tunneling pre-factor in Fowler-Nordheim tunneling theory JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS, 103 (11). ? - ?. ISSN 0021-8979


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This paper argues that a tunneling prefactor should appear in expressions for the tunneling probability D relevant to cold field electron emission (CFE) and in Fowler-Nordheim (FN) type equations. Except in the case of the "ideally smooth" parabolic barrier, a prefactor is always present for barriers where D can be found by exact solution of the Schrodinger equation. A review of the Jeffreys-Wentzel-Kramers-Brillouin (JWKB) approach to solving the Schrodinger equation shows that tunneling barriers should be classified according to whether they are weak or strong and ideally smooth or not: there are four different JWKB-type formulas, depending on the nature of the barrier. CFE tunneling barriers are not ideally smooth but since the 1950s have usually been analyzed using the JWKB formulas for ideally smooth barriers. These analyses, and the standard Murphy-Good FN-type equation, seem mathematically and physically incomplete. The FN-type equations currently used to describe CFE should be revised to explicitly include a tunneling prefactor. Some implications are explored.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Science & Technology, Physical Sciences, Physics, Applied, Physics, FIELD ELECTRON-EMISSION, WAVE MECHANICS, METALS, SURFACE, APPROXIMATIONS, CHARGE
Related URLs:
Divisions: Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Electronic Engineering > Advanced Technology Institute > Nano-Electronics Centre
Depositing User: Mr Adam Field
Date Deposited: 27 May 2010 14:05
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2013 18:25

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