AltSU physicists patented a unique method to obtain a source of high-intensity electron flow

11 July 2020 Deartment of Information and Media Communications
Physicists of Altai State University patented a unique method for producing a thin nanocrystalline intermetallic film, which is a source of a high-intensity electron flow.

The authors of this invention are Head of the Department of General and Experimental Physics, Head of the laboratory for quality control of materials and structures of the Institute of Digital Technologies, Electronics and Physics, Doctor of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Vladimir Plotnikov, Director of the Center for Theoretical and Technological Physics and Physics, Doctor of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Sergey Makarov, Candidate of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Anna Makrushina. They have been engaged in this topic for several years, having received about seven patents for similar methods for producing intermetallic films of electron sources and published more than a dozen articles on this problem.

“An intermetallic film is obtained by depositing several layers of copper and tin on a substrate (in our case it is glass). After that, we conduct a chemical reaction between the layers of copper and tin, as a result of which the intermetallic compound Cu6Sn5 is synthesized over the entire surface of the film (here Cu is copper, and Sn is tin). It is characteristic that synthesis is localized in the aggregate of many reaction islands, as a result of which local single crystal regions, or intermetallic islands, are formed on the surface of the substrate. Each island composing the intermetallic film is a peculiar point sticking out of the surface of the film, which can be a source of electrons in an electric field. Due to the fact that the film surface is a highly developed island structure, it is already possible to create a highly intense electron flux in an electric field. Such electron sources can be used in technological installations for electron beam processing of metals, alloys, as well as electron emitters in electron accelerators. In particular, an electron-positron collider is being developed in Novosibirsk, where a powerful source of electrons may be needed”, explains Vladimir Plotnikov.

The field of practical application of the development of physicists at Altai State University is all that is associated with the modification of the surface structure of metals and giving it certain surface properties, such as high strength, high wear resistance, chemical resistance to aggressive environments. The laboratory is conducting research to create diamond-like films and coatings, and also developing methods to saturate surface metal layers with detonation nanodiamonds.

“Speaking about the developed method, it should be noted that the intermetallic film is a highly organized structure. It consists of a set of single crystals and, what is very important, it is oriented in certain crystallographic directions, that is, we, as developers, can influence its properties and set the crystallography of the final product that we need. By developing such structures, one can reach the cold emission of electrons. This will help in creating powerful sources of electrons”, emphasizes Vladimir Plotnikov.

The method for producing a thin nanocrystalline intermetallic film on a glass substrate developed by scientists of the Institute of Digital Technologies, Electronics and Physics of Altai State University was included in the list of inventions that received legal protection and are included in the winners database of the Rospatent nomination “100 Best Inventions of Russia” for 2019 and the first six months of 2020.

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