SBIR Phase I: Efficient Production of High Quality Carbon Nanotube Field Emitters

Period of Performance: 01/01/2008 - 12/31/2008


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Xintek, Inc.
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
Principal Investigator


This SBIR Phase I project is aimed at demonstrating the feasibility and synthesis of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) containing few walls, as opposed to the single- and multi-wall CNTs available in the market today. CNT-based field emission devices require high quality CNTs to improve emission uniformity, current density, emission stability and lifetime. The current commercially available CNTs have limitations in terms of cost, poor field emission properties, and thermal stability. The company, in collaboraion with Duke University, discovered a proprietary method for growing few-walled CNTs (FECNTs), which show promising field emission performace compared to other commercially available CNTs. In this project, the company will (a) modify the chemical vapor deposition (CVD) system to improve the safety and efficiency of the process, investigage the effects of catalyst composition and CVD conditions on the structure and morphology of the FWCNTs produced and enhance the adhesion between the CNTs and the matrix materials in the FWCNT cathode films. The broader impacts of this technology will be in improved field emission devices with enhanced current densities, which will significantly enhance the performance of X-ray tubes and field-emission displays. This will have a significant positive impact on the manufacture of more efficient X-ray equipment used in medical applications and advanced research. The field emission display market will benefit greatly from having brighter, more stable and longer lasting displays, used in a variety of applications, including entertainment, HDTVs, handheld devices, etc.