Wednesday, December 28, 2011

US Patent 8084927 - CNT twisted wire electron emitter

There have been a wide variety of patents issued over the past decade for carbon nanotubes exhibiting electron emission for applications in flat panel displays, lighting, and sensors. Most of these patents are based on field emission effects of the carbon nanotubes but this latest patent from Foxconn teaches a new type of nanotube electron emitter based on thermionic emission which can improve the mechanical durability and lifespan of devices such as gas lasers, arc-welders, plasma-cutters, electron microscopes, and x-ray generators. Claim 1 reads:

1. A thermal electron emitter comprising:

at least one carbon nanotube twisted wire comprising a plurality of carbon nanotubes; and

a plurality of electron emission particles having a work function lower than a work function of the carbon nanotubes,

wherein at least portions of the plurality of electron emission particles are substantially uniformly dispersed within the twisted wire.

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