Senior Theses

Publication Date


Document Type

Thesis (Open Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Physics



Faculty Advisor(s)

Jennifer Heath (Thesis Advisor)
William Mackie & Joelle Murray (Committee Members)

Subject Categories



Electron emitters are essential components in many microscopy systems, including scanning electron microscopes, transmission electron microscopes, and scanning Auger microprobes. One feature of good electron emitter materials is a low surface work function. CeB6 is one such material. Line defects seen in CeB6 affect the work function of the emitting surface, causing the emitted electrons to have a wider spread of energies. This causes chromatic aberration, reducing the resolution of the microscope systems. The purpose of this research is to find the source of these line defects in the CeB6 emitter fabrication process. It was suspected that defects were in the form of oxides deposited from water contamination. This study confirms that the defects do contain more oxygen than other areas of the surface. The source of this oxygen has yet to be determined.

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