Nuclear Techniques ›› 2020, Vol. 43 ›› Issue (4): 40401-040401.doi: 10.11889/j.0253-3219.2020.hjs.43.040401


Development of a cold cathode X-ray tube based on the Super-aligned arrays of carbon nanotubes

Lihua TANG1,Guoguang ZHANG1(),Duanliang ZHOU2,Peng LIU2(),Kaili JIANG2   

  1. 1.China Institute of Atomic Energy, Beijing 102413, China
    2.Tsinghua-Foxconn Nanotechnology Research Center, Department of Physics of Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
  • Received:2019-12-04 Revised:2020-02-12 Online:2020-04-15 Published:2020-04-20
  • Contact: Guoguang ZHANG,Peng LIU;
  • About author:TANG Lihua, male, born in 1981, graduated from Guangxi University in 2009, doctoral student, focusing on nuclear technology application
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(51788104);National Key Research and Development Plan(2018YFA0208401)

Abstract: Background

The cold cathode X-ray tube is a key component of static CT system. Since the discovery of super-aligned arrays of carbon nanotubes, their applications in X-ray tubes have been gradually developed.


This study aims to design and implement a cold cathode X-ray tube based on super-aligned arrays of carbon nanotubes.


The cold cathode X-ray tube was developed by designing a new X-ray tube structure and adopting a new X-ray tube preparation process. The acetylene was taken as carbon source gas, the super-aligned arrays of carbon nanotubes were prepared by using the chemical vapor deposition method. Then the cold cathode X-ray tube based on the technology of super aligned carbon nanotubes was developed by taking the nanotubes as electron source, and the performance of the developed X-ray tube was tested. Both the I-V characteristic curve and the X-ray focus size were obtained.


Results shown on the I-V characteristic curve indicates the maximum emission current of this developed cold cathode X-ray tube is 5.0 mA when the gate voltage is 2 373 V. The focus size determined by the pinhole imaging is 0.6 mm×1.6 mm. When the anode high voltage is below 130 kV, the X-ray tube works stably.


This study lays a foundation for the development of pulsed X-ray source and static CT security system.

Key words: X-ray tubes, Cold cathodes, Super-aligned arrays, Carbon nanotubes

CLC Number: 

  • TL99