Field emission (FE) measurements are reported from carbon nanotube (CNT) fibers and laser-patterned free standing films fabricated by direct online condensation from a floating catalyst chemical vapor deposition reactor. Fiber and film cathodes showed stable emission in the 1–2 mA current (I) range at maximum cathode temperatures less than 1000 °C; film cathodes show localized heating at the triangular tips and higher maximum temperatures than the fibers. Fowler-Nordheim (FN) analysis indicated a change in the morphology of the emitters with increasing external electrical field (Eext). Fiber cathode I-Eext data are interpreted as FN emission from the fiber tip which is eventually limited by space-charge effects. At higher Eext, FN emission from the fiber sidewall occurs. The single fiber cathode stopped emitting abruptly when field induced self-heating effects became significant. For CNT films, self-heating effects can destroy a portion of the film, but FE can still occur from other areas.
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This work was supported by Air Force contract FA8650-11-D-5401 at the Materials & Manufacturing Directorate (AFRL/RXAP) The authors thank John Luginsland at AFOSR and Scott Dudley and Victor Putz of EOARD for their support.
This author was an editor of this focus issue during the review and decision stage. For the JMR policy on review and publication of manuscripts authored by editors, please refer to http://www.mrs.org/jmr_policy.
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Fairchild, S.B., Bulmer, J.S., Sparkes, M. et al. Field emission from laser cut CNT fibers and films. Journal of Materials Research 29, 392–402 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1557/jmr.2013.322