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A fabrication process for carbon nanotubes (CNTs) field emitter array is reported. This process consists of formation of protrusions on a silicon substrate, selective deposition of catalyst film on tips of the protrusions and direct growth of the CNTs on the tips of the protrusions by plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition. In this process, number of the CNTs grown on each tip of the protrusion can be controlled by the size of the protrusion. The CNT field emitter arrays gave better field emission property than a continuous CNT film. A threshold voltage required to obtain 1 μA/cm2 of field emission current from the CNT field emitter array was about 300 V lower than that from the continuous CNT film. This improvement is presumably due to reduction of screening effect, which prevents the field from concentrating on the tip of the CNT emitters. © 2004 American Vacuum Society.