Studies of field emission process influence on changes in CNT films with different CNT superficial density

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Abstract

Field emission from materials at high electric fields can be associated with unfavorable or even destructive effect on the surface of the investigated cathode. The impact of high voltage electric power supply causes locally very strong electric fields focusing on the cathode surface. It causes a number of phenomena, which can adversely affect the morphology and the structure of the cathode material. Such a phenomenon is, for example, peeling of an emissive layer from the substrate or its burnout. It results in tearing of the layer and a decrease or loss of its ability to electrons emission. The cold cathodes in a form of CNT films with various CNTs superficial distribution are obtained by physical vapor deposition followed by chemical vapor deposition. CNTs are catalyzed in pyrolytic process with xylene (CVD), by Ni in a form of nanograins (few nm in size) placed in carbonaceous matrix. These films are built of emissive CNTs - carbonaceous film deposited on different substrates. In this work, the morphology and topography of superficial changes resulting from external electric field in such films were investigated.

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