Ballasted & electrically steerable carbon nanotube field emitters

Matthew Cole, C. Li, Ke Qu, Y. Zhang, B. Wang, Didier Pribat, W I Milne

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter in a published conference proceeding

83 Downloads (Pure)


Here we present our on-going efforts toward the development of stable ballasted carbon nanotube-based field emitters employing hydrothermally synthesized zinc oxide nanowires and thin film silicon-on-insulator substrates. The semiconducting channel in each controllably limits the emission current thereby preventing detrimental burn-out of individual emitters that occurs due to unavoidable statistical variability in emitter characteristics, particularly in their length. Fabrication details and emitter characterization are discussed in addition to their field emission performance. The development of a beam steerable triode electron emitter formed from hexagonal carbon nanotube arrays with central focusing nanotube electrodes, is also described. Numerical ab-initio simulations are presented to account for the empirical emission characteristics. Our engineered ballasted emitters have shown some of the lowest reported lifetime variations (< 0.7%) with on-times of < 1 ms, making them ideally-suited for next-generation displays, environmental lighting and portable x-rays sources.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering, 2012
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventCarbon Nanotubes, Graphene, and Associated Devices V - San Diego, CA, USA United States
Duration: 14 Aug 201215 Aug 2012

Publication series

NameCarbon Nanotubes, Graphene, and Associated Devices V


ConferenceCarbon Nanotubes, Graphene, and Associated Devices V
Country/TerritoryUSA United States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Ballasted
  • Carbon nanotubes
  • Field emission
  • SOI
  • Triode
  • Zinc oxide nanowires

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Ballasted & electrically steerable carbon nanotube field emitters'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this