The fabrication of carbon nanotube (CNT) emitters with excellent field emission properties was described. CNT clusters synthesized by arc discharge were crushed, mixed with conductive pastes, and then screen-printed. In order to obtain efficient field emissions, the mechanical surface treatment was applied to the printed CNT films. The measurements of field emission carried out using a diode structure showed that the electron emission of the surface-treated CNT films uniformly turned-on with a field as low as about 1.5 V/μm. The emission current density was about 0.6 mA/cm2 at a field of 2.8 V/μm. Furthermore, we proposed a new triode type field emitter using a mesh gate plate having tapered holes. Combining the surface-treated CNT emitters and the mesh gate plate, we could achieve the ideal triode properties with no gate leakage currents. New suggestions of mesh gate structure can be an alternative cathode technology for field emission display.

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