<p>A comparison of the field emission properties of exposed nanotubes lying on a tipped carbon nanorope, with the emission properties from a sharpened iron tip of similar dimensions is performed. By varying the electrode separation it is observed that the threshold field for emission for both structures decreases as the electrode separation initially increases; however, for sufficiently large electrode separations, the threshold field is observed to reach an asymptotic value. Our results show that the field enhancement factor is fundamentally associated with the electrode separation, and depending on the experimental conditions in order to obtain a true value for electric field a set of alternative definitions for enhancement factors is required. We further confirm our experimental synopsis by simulation of the local electrostatic field which gives results similar to those obtained experimentally.</p
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