<p>In this work, the electron field emission behaviour of electrodes formed by carbon nanotubes (CNTs) grown onto monolithic vitreous carbon (VCarbon) substrates with microcavities is presented. Scanning electron microscopy was used to characterize the microstructure of the films. Tungsten probes, stainless steel sphere, and phosphor electrodes were employed in the electron field emission study. The CNT/VCarbon composite represents a route to inexpensive excellent large area electron emission cathodes with fields as low as 2.1 V mu m(-1). In preliminary lifetime tests for a period of about 24 h at an emission current of about 4 mA cm(-2), there is an onset degradation of the emission current of about 28%, which then stabilizes. Electron emission images of the composites show the cavity of the samples act as separate emission sites and predominantly control the emission process. The emission of CNTs/VCarbon was found to be stable for several hours.</p
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