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Despite the development of semi-conductor electronics, electro vacuum devices have their own quite extensive niche in various areas of applied industrial electronics (SHF/microwaves: klystrons, magnetrons, amplitrons, running-wave tubes are meant for operating in radar stations, in satellite stations, in linear accelerators, in TV transmitting devices), in the household devices (light bulbs etc.), in research and medical devices (x-ray tubes), in military technologies etc. The work principle of electrovacuum devices is based on the operating of an electron flow, moving from one electrode to another under the influence of the electric field. Each device has an electrode (cathode), which surface emits an electron flow in the vacuum. The cathode lifetime, efficiency, reliability and other characteristics directly influence the characteristics of an entire electrovacuum device in whole, its effectiveness, reliability and service life period. The uses focused perpendicularly to the substrate of nanotubes as an electrode is the development of fabrication method of field-emission cathode which is proved by research results. The other main usage of arrays of focused carbon nanotubes is electrochemical applications in which they play a role of one of the electrodes in electrochemical energy storage systems. The electrochemical energy storage system represents a class of devices for accumulation energy allocation which uses various electrolytes and electrodes. There are three basic directions of electrochemical devices application: - Transformation and storage of information (chemotronic devices); - Accumulation of electricl energy (electrolytic capacitors); - Transformation of chemical energy in electrical (chemical sources of a current). Chemotronic devices enable to carry out most effectively all the complex of the information transformations in the field of low and ultralow frequencies with the minimum energy consumption. Electrolytic capacitors possess the greatest specific capacities in comparison with their functional
counterparts. Chemical sources of a current having high specific power performances remain one of the basic energy sources for objects with self-contained supply. It is obvious that properties of the electrochemical energy storage devices depend mostly on characteristics of electrodes applied in them, on their design and material composition. The need of economics for more effective, simple and reliable electrochemical energy storage systems with long operation times, short charging times and high power rates is beyond any doubt.
2 There is a proposition of manufacturing cathodes from arrays of oriented carbon nanotubes. Carbon nanotubes can be raised perpendicularly to the substrate surfaces; they can have a diverse structure. Such a substrate, with a layer of nanotubes can serve as the cathode both in the electrovacuum device, and as one of electrodes in the electrochemical device. For electronic and electrochemical applications it is necessary to produce electrodes with a various structure. The change of the electrode structure, the morphology of carbon nanotubes, their diameter and length, the introduction of dopant atoms and the faults is performed by the alteration of technological parameters at work of the chemical reactor in a uniform workflow, i.e. the same reactor is required for the manufacturing of cathodes both for electronic and electrochemical applications. The offered technology lets conduct the films synthesis of multilayered oriented carbon nanotubes in the thickness from 1 micrometer to 5 mm and more, the diameter of nanotubes is from 5 nanometers to 70 nanometers, the introduction possibility of the dopant nitrogen atoms of in layers of nanotubes (up to ~3 %). The basic efforts at project realization will be directed on the designing and equipment manufacturing - a conveyor line for the continuous production of electrodes on the basis of the arrays of oriented carbon nanotubes with a flexible
architecture, allowing to change the synthesis parameters in considerable limits and in that way to be easily adjusted to certain production needs. 3 The usage of an electrode for the electron emission into the vacuum from oriented carbon nanotubes leads to the achievement of some advantages: 1. There is no need to warm up a cathode; the electron emission is produced thanks to the electric-field strength near the edge of a nanotube, what provides a considerable power saving compared to thermocathodes; 2. Low threshold limit values for the field strength (~ 0.5 In/micron), necessary for the occurrence of the emission current, i.e. the low power consumption of the final device; 3. The possibility of work of an electrode at high load currents because of the mechanical durability and a great number of nanotubes; 4. The comparatively simple manufacturing techniques of an electrode and the simplicity of the further work with it (the electrode is steady in the air, mechanically durable, it is easy to handle at the final assembling stage); 5. The possibility of miniaturization of the final device at the expense of the cathode miniaturization. Actually one nanotube can serve as an emitting electrode. The usage of arrays of oriented carbon nanotubes on conducting substrates as an electrode in electrochemical energy storage systems leads to the achievement of following benefits:
It provides the high area of interaction of an electrode with an electrolyte which leads to the achievement of a high capacity of an electrode; It provides the parallel current collecting from all nanotubes of an electrode simultaneously, which leads to a considerable reduction of the charging time of an electrode, and with the work possibility at high return currents; The mechanical durability of nanotubes will provide a long lifecycle of an electrode without essential changes of characteristics.
The introduction of the faults in the structure of carbon nanotubes in form of dopant atoms in the formation moment opens a way for their chemical modification and the further sedimentation on the surface of carbon nanotubes in diverse materials. It will allow to expand the applications of such electrodes in the area of "pseudo-capacitors" and electrochemical capacitors with the «double electric layer» in which the energy accumulation is conducted on the interface of electrolyte-electrode. A comparatively simple manufacturing technique of an electrode and the simplicity of the further work with it. (the electrode is strong on air, mechanically durable, and it is easy to handle at the final assemblage);
4 The manufacturing equipment of electrodes for various electrovacuum and electrochemical devices. The endproduct is the automatic conveyor line for the production of arrays of oriented carbon nanotubes of a necessary structure and morphology. 5 The patent of the Russian Federation № 2364569 «The way of carbon nanotubes production» December, 2007 г. 6 There is a laboratory prototype of the chemical reactor on which electrode prototypes are produced, there are also electrode testing rigs. 7 The tests were independently conducted. 8 START 2007 production » 9 The basic project expenses are the patenting and the marketing researches, the designing and manufacturing of a
conveyor installation for the synthesis of oriented carbon nanotubes on substrates which then will be used as cathodes.