"Avto Effect" Transforms Electron Emission Characteristics
Gibraltar, 7th July:
A new method for increasing electron emission from thin film materials may provide much improved materials for constructing vacuum diodes and similar components, and, in turn, allow for greater efficiency in a wide range of industrial processes, including power generation and heat management.
Named for Dr Avto Tavkhelidze, who first theorized, researched and discovered it, the "Avto Effect" has now been observed many times in specially prepared films of gold and other materials. The preparation involves changing the geometry of the surface of the film by etching tiny grooves or corrugations on it. As a result, quantum wave interference reveals new electronic characteristics which were previously unobserved.
One of the first effects to be observed has been a change in the material's "work function", the amount of work needed to cause electron emission. In repeated tests, the material's work function has been markedly lowered, allowing electrons to flow more freely into the vacuum.
These results are consistent with the theory developed by Georgian scientist Dr Tavkhelidze which will be presented next week, on July 10th, at 18th International Vacuum Nanoelectronics Conference held at St. Catherine's College, Oxford, UK (10th-14th July) by Nechama Katan, program manager for Avto Metals plc, a company formed to commercialize the "Avto Effect". The discovery can be applied to many materials, including non-metallic materials such as silicon, although the phrase "Avto Metal" was coined at an early stage to describe the resulting surfaces.
The paper, Observation of New Quantum Interference Effect in Solids, will present the theory and results, including images of the grooved surfaces. Tests have been conducted at three independent laboratories in Europe and the USA in order to confirm the unprecedented results.
The rate of electron emission has, in the past, been regarded as a characteristic of the material, defined by a constant known as the "work function". Consequently, to get better work functions, most research looks for new materials. The idea of improving the geometry of the surface to effectively change the work function of a material across the whole surface is a new development which has become possible as a result of improved techniques for precisely texturing a surface at the nanoscale level.
An important difference between the Avto Effect and earlier work is that the higher rate of emission is consistent across the whole surface of the film, so Avto Metals do not rely on field emitters such as tips or nanotubes which are difficult to fabricate and handle. And because the reduced work functions of Avto Metals allow for thermionic emission instead of field emission, emission occurs as a result of elevated temperatures, not the application of very high voltages.
Avto Metals plc program manager Nechama Katan said: "The ability to lower the work function of materials has commercial implications for many industrial processes, from amplifiers to mass spectrometry to the cathode ray tube, transistors, and any technology using vacuum diodes. In particular, we expect it to facilitate the production of Power Chips™ and Cool Chips™, proprietary technologies owned by our sister companies in the Borealis family."
For further information please contact:
Head of Public Relations
Avto Metals plc
Tel: +44 (0)20 8571 5216
Avto Metals plc (AMTPF) is a subsidiary of Borealis Exploration Limited formed to commercialize the "Avto Effect", a technology that allows nanoscale properties to be applied to large surface areas. Initial applications are expected to include heat management, cathodes, transistors, and power generation. The technology has been licensed to Cool Chips plc (COLCF) for heat management applications and to Power Chips plc (PWCHF) for power generation applications. For more information and forward-looking statements please visit its web site at www.avtometals.gi .
Borealis Exploration Limited (BOREF) is a research and development company founded in 1968 and based in Gibraltar in the European Union. Borealis has 5,000,000 shares outstanding. Borealis' business is reinventing the core technologies used by basic industries, including electric motors, steelmaking, electrical power generation, and cooling and refrigeration. For more information and forward-looking statements please visit its web site at www.borealis.gi .
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