Electron Emission Activities

As a result of Applied Nanotech, Inc.'s extensive work with Field Emission Displays and the knowledge that we have gained there, we have been able to extend our technology and intellectual property into selected non-display areas involving electron emission and ion sources. These include:

Ion Sources

ANI has developed ion sources designed to replace radioactive isotopes currently used in ion mobility and mass spectrometry applications. By replacing the radioactive sources, the devices become inherently safe and the cost of ownership is decreased as a result of eliminating administrative burdens required for ownership of radioactive materials. This in turn will lead to wider use of these analytical tools in industrial and medical applications such as gas leak detection and breath analysis for human health monitoring.

Neutron generators

ANI is developing an efficient, hand-portable neutron source for use in stand-off detection of radioactive materials and other contraband in shipping containers or trucks at points of entry or other shipping security check points. The heart of the neutron generator is an ion source that is based on electron emission from carbon nanotubes. The CNT operation of the ion source will lead to efficient pulsed power operation of variable duty factor in a hand-portable format suitable for stand-off detection.

X-Ray Technology

Carbon cold cathodes also have great potential for use in X-ray applications. We previously have supplied small quantities of cathodes for use in industrial X-ray equipment that was used for thickness gauges, radiography inspection and materials analysis. We have also supplied cathodes for testing in connection with potential uses for medical equipment.

Cold cathode x-ray tube for industrial use
Miniature cold cathode tube for x-ray therapy

Traveling Wave Tubes (TWT)

Traveling wave tubes are key components for generating high frequency and high power for communications, radar, and other electronic equipment. Almost all current TWTs use thermal cathodes (cathodes that require heating) to generate the high current density beam required for effective and efficient TWT operation.

A cold cathode using carbon nanotubes as the electron source has the potential to improve the operating life of the cathode and the efficiency of the TWT. Carbon nanotubes have many desirable qualities that make them ideal for use in cold cathode applications including good electrical conductivity, stability, and high thermal conductivity.


If you have a development program that would benefit from our expertise, please contact sales(at)appliednanotech.net

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