Etched Tip Cathode Information

Applied Physics Technologies can provide filament mounted, electrochemically etched, field emitters. Our electrochemical etching process is exacting and can reproduce extremely sharp emitter end-forms. The process uses precise electronics to control the etch and environmental containment to control several variables such as temperature and fluid flow.


Our etched tip cathodes are generally made from our ultra-pure, zone-refined refractory metals. The primary metal used is tungsten (W) for these CFE (cold field emission) sources. We can custom make these on several bases to your specifications or can rebuild most common CFE cathodes used in commercial electron microscopes. W(310) is very common but we can use other orientations e.g. (111) or (100) and even other refractory metals, such as molybdenum.


Hafnium carbide (HfC) is another popular material used in etched tip cathodes as a CFE source. It can outperform W CFE in brightness, energy distribution, and emission stability.1


The T-F souce cathode made from HfC, is our newest source on the market. It has a 10x brighter beam current than ZrO/W (100) source.2


Cathode rebuilds are available for several OEMs systems (JEOL, Hitachi, etc.). For additional details, quotes, or to inquire about other materials, orientations, or mounting methods please Contact Us.

¹K.J. Kagarice, G.G. Magera, S.D. Pollard, & W.A. Mackie, “Cold field emission from HfC(310)”, J. Vac. Sci. Technol. B 26(2), Mar/Apr 2008.


²W.A. Mackie, J.M. Lovell, T.W. Curtis, & G.G. Magera, “HfC(310) high brightness sources for advanced imaging applications”, J. Vac. Sci. Technol. B 32(2),

Mar/Apr 2014



Transition Metal


Refractory Metals


Top Hat

Guard Ring

Etched Tip

Cathode Guide

Application Guide

Rebuilding Services

Refractory Metals

Source Types

Cathode Dimensions


Services & Parts


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1600 NE Miller St. McMinnville, OR 97128


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