Characterization of osmium-ruthenium thin films for cathode coatings

P. Swartzentruber, T. J. Balk, S. Roberts

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Osmium-Ruthenium alloy thin film coatings were characterized to understand the effects of film structure on thermionic emission from dispenser cathodes. Electron microscopy and x-ray diffraction of coated dispenser cathodes were used to characterize the various film structures, and life testing was conducted to gauge the improvement in cathode emission due to each film structure. In collaboration with industrial partner Semicon Associates, three novel film structures were studied in addition to the standard Semicon film. Different film architectures were created, with varying levels of substrate bias during film deposition. The films were simultaneously magnetron sputtered on porous tungsten pellets for characterization and on cathode assemblies for life testing. The cathode assemblies were life tested for 1000 hours. Cathode performance will be discussed in light of the microstructural features of each film.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMaterials Processing and Energy Materials
Number of pages5
StatePublished - 2011

Publication series

NameTMS Annual Meeting


  • Dispenser cathode
  • Knee temperature
  • M-coating
  • M-type
  • Microstructure
  • Osmium
  • Ruthenium
  • Thin film

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Metals and Alloys


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