Field electron emission from a copper-based composite reinforced with carbon nanotubes

R.K. Khisamov ORCID logo , K.S. Nazarov, P.V. Trinh ORCID logo , A.A. Nazarov, D.D. Phuong, R.R. Mulyukov show affiliations and emails
Accepted: 04 November 2019
Citation: R.K. Khisamov, K.S. Nazarov, P.V. Trinh, A.A. Nazarov, D.D. Phuong, R.R. Mulyukov. Field electron emission from a copper-based composite reinforced with carbon nanotubes. Lett. Mater., 2019, 9(4s) 566-570


Carbon nanotubes in the form of protruding clusters on the surface of Cu-4 wt.% CNT compositeField electron emission from a copper based composite reinforced with carbon nanotubes (Cu-4 wt.% CNT) was studied. The composite samples were processed by mixing copper powders and carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in a ball mill followed by hot isostatic pressing. To obtain a more even distribution of CNTs, the samples were subjected to high pressure torsion (HPT). After etching, clusters of CNTs were observed on the surface of the sample. The field electron emission from the sample was measured by means of a vacuum diode consisting of an anode and cathode. The composite sample served as cathode. The dependence of the current on the voltage applied between the anode and sample was determined. The current values of 5 and 200 µA were found at the potential differences of 2200 and 3400 V, which correspond to the values of electric field 9 and 13.5 V / µm, respectively. The increase of voltage above 3400 V led to initiation of microdischarge between the anode and sample. Under the same conditions, no current was detected with pure Cu samples. It is assumed that the current measured on the anode with the sample of Cu-CNT composite is the current of electrons emitted from the CNT clusters located on the surface of the sample and that this emission is of field nature. An analysis of the dependence of the current on the voltage for the composite samples is done in Fowler-Nordheim coordinates.

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