An enhancement of the electron emission current from carbon nanotubes (CNTs) can be achieved by increasing the local electric field or reduction of the potential barrier to emission. Chemical modification of the surface of CNTs is often used to achieve good dispersion but the effects on the field emission properties are often overlooked. We demonstrate that significant improvements in the current density of CNT-based arrays can be achieved through chemically induced changes to the nanotube work function. For a given current density the requirements for the local electric field and work function are calculated.
Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.