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Field emission characteristics of a small number of carbon fiber emitters
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This paper reports an experiment that studies the emission characteristics of small number of field emitters. The experiment consists of nine carbon fibers in a square configuration. Experimental results show that the emission characteristics depend strongly on the separation between each emitter, providing evidence of the electric field screening effects. Our results indicate that as the separation between the emitters decreases, the emission current for a given voltage also decreases. The authors compare the experimental results to four carbon fiber emitters in a linear and square configurations as well as to two carbon fiber emitters in a paired array. Voltage-current traces show that the turn-on voltage is always larger for the nine carbon fiber emitters as compared to the two and four emitters in linear configurations, and approximately identical to the four emitters in a square configuration. The observations and analysis reported here, based on Fowler-Nordheim
field emission theory, suggest the electric field screening effect depends critically on the number of emitters, the separation between them, and their overall geometric configuration.
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