Carbon Nanotube Bundle Array Cold Cathodes for THz Vacuum Tube Sources

  • Harish M. Manohara
  • Risaku Toda
  • Robert H. Lin
  • Anna Liao
  • Michael J. Bronikowski
  • Peter H. Siegel


We present high performance cold cathodes composed of arrays of carbon nanotube bundles that routinely produce > 15 A/cm2 at applied fields of 5 to 8 V/µm without any beam focusing. They have exhibited robust operation in poor vacuums of 10-6 to 10-4 Torr- a typically achievable range inside hermetically sealed microcavities. A new double-SOI process was developed to monolithically integrate a gate and additional beam tailoring electrodes. The ability to design the electrodes for specific requirements makes carbon nanotube field emission sources extremely flexible. The lifetime of these cathodes is found to be affected by two effects: a gradual decay of emission due to anode sputtering, and catastrophic failure because of dislodging of CNT bundles at high fields ( > 10 V/µm).


Field emission Carbon nanotube CNTs Nanoklystron Vacuum tube High frequency sources 


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Copyright information

© US Government 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harish M. Manohara
    • 1
  • Risaku Toda
    • 1
  • Robert H. Lin
    • 1
  • Anna Liao
    • 1
  • Michael J. Bronikowski
    • 1
    • 3
  • Peter H. Siegel
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Jet Propulsion LaboratoryCalifornia Institute of TechnologyPasadenaUSA
  2. 2.Beckman Institute, California Institute of TechnologyPasadenaUSA
  3. 3.Atomate CorporationSimi ValleyUSA

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