Zinc-doped copper oxide (CuO:Zn) nanowires (NWs) with Cu and Zn layers were grown by thermal oxidation on a glass template in ambient air. The Zn content in the CuO NWs was approximated 9.9%. Field emitters using these CuO:Zn NWs were also fabricated on the glass substrate and compared with those using NWs composed of CuO alone. The threshold fields of the CuO:Zn NW and CuO NW field emitters can be significantly decreased from 8.3 to 4.1 V/mm, and the work function can also be reduced from 4.5 to 1.54 eV by introducing Zn atoms into the CuO NWs.
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