Millimeter-long carbon nanotubes: Outstanding electron-emitting sources

Néstor Perea-López, Bernabé Rebollo-Plata, Juan Antonio Briones-León, Aarón Morelos-Gómez, Daniel Hernández-Cruz, Gustavo A. Hirata, Vincent Meunier, Andrés R. Botello-Méndez, Jean Christophe Charlier, Benji Maruyama, Emilio Muñoz-Sandoval, Florentino López-Urías, Mauricio Terrones, Humberto Terrones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


We are reporting the fabrication of a very efficient electron source using millimeter-long and highly crystalline carbon nanotubes. These devices start to emit electrons at fields as low as 0.17 V/μm and reach threshold emission at 0.24 V/μm. In addition, these electron sources are very stable and can achieve a peak current density of 750 mA cm-2 at only 0.45 V/μm. In order to demonstrate intense electron beam generation, these devices were used to produce visible light by cathodoluminescence. Finally, density functional theory calculations were used to rationalize the measured electronic field emission properties in open carbon nanotubes of different lengths. The modeling establishes a clear correlation between length and field enhancement factor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5072-5077
Number of pages6
JournalACS nano
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 28 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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