Intensified field emission (FE) current from temporally stable cerium hexaboride (CeB6) coated carbon nanotubes (CNTs) on Si substrate is reported aiming to propose the new composite material as a potential candidate for future generation electron sources. The film was synthesized by a combination of chemical and physical deposition processes. A remarkable increase in maximum current density, field enhancement factor, and a reduction in turn-on field and threshold field with comparable temporal current stability are observed in CeB6-coated CNT film when compared to pristine CeB6 film. The elemental composition and surface morphology of the films, as examined by scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and energy dispersive X-ray measurements, show decoration of CeB6 nanoparticles on top and walls of CNTs. Chemical functionalization of CNTs by the incorporation of CeB6 nanoparticles is evident by a remarkable increase in intensity of the 2D band in Raman spectrum of coated films as compared to pristine CeB6 films. The enhanced FE properties of the CeB6 coated CNT films are correlated to the microstructure of the films.

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