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In this letter, an improved planar triode with ZnO nanopin field emitters has been proposed. Comparison with a conventional planar triode, a layer of ZnO nanostructures is deposited between the cathode and gate electrode. These ZnO nanostructures are used as field emitters. Because both electrodes and ZnO layer can be deposited with screen-printing method, the fabrication process of an improved planar triode is quite simple. As experimental results shown, the turn-on voltage and the threshold voltage are low. The swing voltage is about 120 V when the anode current of a single pixel is 200 nA. A good focus performance is also obtained with a new electrode-pattern in the planar triode.