Electron field emission properties of highly dense carbon nanotube arrays

Sergei M. Pimenov, Vadim D. Frolov, Evgeny V. Zavedeev, Nikolay P. Abanshin, He Yun Du, Wei Chao Chen, Li Chyong Chen, Jih Jen Wu, Kuei Hsien Chen

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10 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we have studied field emission properties of highly dense arrays of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (CNTs) used as cathodes in diode-type field emission devices with a phosphor screen. For the high-density CNT emitters it is demonstrated that the emission sites are located on the CNT-cathode edges, which is direct experimental evidence of the 'edge effect'. The results of computer simulations (using 'ANSYS Electromagnetic' software) are presented to confirm the experimental data and to analyze the effect of patterning on the electric field distribution for high-density CNT arrays. It is shown that selective-area removal of nanotubes in the arrays leads to the formation of additional edges characterized by the high field enhancement factor and enhanced emission from the CNT cathodes. In addition, scanning probe microscopy techniques are employed to examine surface properties of the high-density CNT arrays. For CNT arrays of 'short' nanotubes, the work function distribution over the sample surface is detected using a scanning Kelvin microscopy method.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-16
Number of pages6
JournalApplied Physics A: Materials Science and Processing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Oct

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)


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