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Optimization of Carbon Nanotube Field Emission Arrays

B. L. Crossley[1], M. Kossler[1], P.J. Collins[1], R. A. Coutu Jr.[1], and L. A. Starman[1]

[1]Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, USA

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have been proven experimentally to be well suited for field emission applications. An optimized triode configured CNT field emission array is developed using the COMSOL Multiphysics Electrostatics Application to adjust five key physical dimensions to investigate the effects on the enhanced electric field at the CNT emitter tips. The five dimensions studied are CNT spacing, array pitch, array element dimensions, element shape, and the dielectric thickness. These results are used to develop an optimized CNT field emission array that fits within the constraints of currently available fabrication capabilities.