Ultra-efficient cold-cathode electron sources are coming. Using our Embedded Field Emission technology, we are able to deliver truly zero-wear sources that don't suffer from the frailties of conventional electron sources.


Conventional cold-cathode technologies use precision engineered needle-like structures to create very high localised electric fields that cause electrons to be emitted into a vacuum. However vacuums aren't perfect and the sources wear out either due to residual gas ions impacting on the sharp emitting regions, or the inability to effectively remove heat generated at the field emitter tip creating temperature gradients that can be in excess of 1000ºC from emitter base to emitter tip. It can even be a combination of both these phenomena.


Our sources will come in two forms:

  • Precision sources for analytical applications such as nano and micro-focus x-ray tubes, residual gas analysis systems and electron microscopy
  • High current sources for power applications such as high frequency tubes (travelling wave tubes, klystrons, gyratrons etc.), additive manufacturing, materials processing, e-beam welding and satellite electric propulsion

We are now actively seeking further partners to work with to demonstrate our technology in the applications above or anything else that needs a highly efficient, robust, source of electrons.



We are also developing a new generation of two and three terminal solid-state devices, which build on exactly the same core technology that we use for our electron sources. Hence improvements we make to one device can be automatically applied to our other devices, providing a rapid acceleration path to ever improving performance.

Our diodes and EFET exhibit electrical behaviour that is more like a thermionic valve than a modern semiconductor at the same or better efficiencies. Thus, the still superior high frequency and non-linear load performance that valves can bring is delivered completely within the substrate, making full use of the vastly superior electronic and thermal properties that diamond can offer.


There are a number of advantages our device technology can bring to applications:

  • the underlying mechanism that we exploit is a physical principle that is largely independent of temperature - hence flatter more reliable operational characteristics across a temperature range that can comfortably go to 250ºC
  • as a unipolar device technology we can engineer space charge build-up to provide superior over-current characteristics that mitigate fault events - the so called "soft-clipping" effect
  • diamond is inherently radiation hard, therefore able to operate in harsh environments with far less degradation over time
  • our devices are based on intrinsic diamond, which has 50x the dielectric strength of silicon. This means we can create inherently high voltage devices, or reduce feature size to create very high frequency devices into the 10's of GHz spectrum

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