Modeling of electron field emission has not advanced significantly since Fowler and Nordheim described the phenomenon eighty years ago. While their approach provides remarkable agreement with experiments for a large number of cases, the theory is strictly valid for planar geometries and low temperatures. Carbon nanotubes have been considered for field emission energy conversion devices. Under high-temperature conditions and significant field enhancement, the approximations used in the Fowler-Nordheim formalism become invalid. The present work predicts electron current densities emitted from carbon nanotubes using Airy functions to predict transmission and temperature dependent supply functions. Results indicate that Fowler-Nordheim compares favorably with the Airy function model for materials with large work function (φ ≈ 5eV, in the present study) at room temperatures. However, for materials with smaller work functions, the difference between the Airy function model and Fowler-Nordheim can be significant.
Modeling of Carbon Nanotube Emission Using Airy Functions
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Walker, DG, & Fisher, TS. "Modeling of Carbon Nanotube Emission Using Airy Functions." Proceedings of the ASME 2003 Heat Transfer Summer Conference. Heat Transfer: Volume 3. Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. July 21–23, 2003. pp. 771-776. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/HT2003-47276
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