Undoped and nitrogen-doped amorphous diamond were deposited on n-type Si(100) substrate by a cathodic arc process. By varying nitrogen partial pressure of the gas mixture in the range of 0 to 55.6%, up to 23 at.% of nitrogen was incorporated in amorphous diamond. The electron spectroscopy for chemical analysis, Raman, and atomic force microscopy measurements indicated that most nitrogen atoms replaced carbon atoms in the amorphous structure. The electron concentration, mobility, and its resistivity were determined by the measurement of Hall effect. With the increasing of nitrogen content, the resistivity curve is U-shaped with a local minimum. The electron emission current in vacuum was characterized based on the diode design. It was found that the electron emission was highly reproducible. This is in contrast to the high variability observed for carbon nanotubes. The lowest resistivity coating had the lowest "turn-on" electrical field of 0.7 V/μm at the current density of 10 μA/cm2.
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