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Stable Field Emitters for a Miniature X-ray Tube Using Carbon Nanotube Drop Drying on a Flat Metal Tip

SungHwan Heo, Aamir Ihsan, SeungHwa Yoo, Ghafar Ali and SungOh Cho*

Author Affiliations

Department of Nuclear and Quantum Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), 373-1 Guseong, Yuseong, Daejeon, 305-701, Republic of Korea

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2010, 5:720-724  doi:10.1007/s11671-010-9537-x

Published: 23 January 2010


Stable carbon nanotube (CNT) field emitters for a vacuum-sealed miniature X-ray tube have been fabricated. The field emitters with a uniform CNT coating are prepared by a simple drop drying of a CNT mixture solution that is composed of chemically modified multi-walled CNTs, silver nanoparticles, and isopropyl alcohol on flat tungsten tips. A highly thermal- and electrical-conductive silver layer strongly attaches CNTs to the tungsten tips. Consequently, the field emitters exhibit good electron emission stability: continuous electron emission of around 100 μA at 2.3 V/μm has stably lasted over 40 h even at non-high vacuum ambient (~10−3 Pa).

Carbon nanotube; Field emission; Drop drying; Miniature X-ray tube