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Carbon Nanotube Field Emission Devices

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

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Technology Marketing Summary

Novel field emission sources using carbon nanotubes have been developed by Berkeley Lab researchers Alex Zettl and Marvin Cohen. The Berkeley Lab technology overcomes problems currently associated with field emission devices (FEDs).

DescriptionThe new nanotube field emission sources are insensitive to distance between cathode and tip, an important feature that allows for larger fabrication and operation tolerances. FEDs based on the Berkeley Lab design will run at lower voltages and operate at vacuums three orders of magnitude lower than earlier devices. The field emission sources are robust; a form of self-regeneration enables them to withstand virtually all damage. Their straightforward method of production makes commercial fabrication feasible. Potential applications include mobile computing and communication devices, LCDs, electrostatic scrubbers for industrial air pollution control, and any applications requiring high local electrical fields.Benefits
  • Low energy consumption
  • High screen brightness
  • Robust
  • Operate at lower voltages and less severe vacuums than current FEDs or LCDs
  • Larger fabrication and operation tolerances than existing FED technologies
  • Straightforward production method makes them commercially feasible
Applications and Industries
  • Field-emission displays for portable computing and electronic devices (smartphones, laptop computers, etc.)
  • Backlighting for LCD displays for portable and large-screen stationary devices (television sets)
  • Solid state lighting
  • Electrostatic scrubbers
  • Electron sources for microscopes and x-ray generators
More Information
Patents and Patent Applications
ID Number
Title and Abstract
Primary Lab
Patent 6,057,637
Field emission electron source
A novel field emitter material, field emission electron source, and commercially feasible fabrication method is described. The inventive field emission electron source produces reliable electron currents of up to 400 mA/cm.sup.2 at 200 volts. The emitter is robust and the current it produces is not sensitive to variability of vacuum or the distance between the emitter tip and the cathode. The novel emitter has a sharp turn-on near 100 volts.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory 05/02/2000
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
IB-1194DevelopmentAvailable - Available for licensing08/22/201108/22/2011

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