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Using first-principles calculations, we study the work function of single-wall silicon carbide nanotube (SiCNT). The work function is found to be highly dependent on the tube chirality and diameter. It increases by decreasing the tube diameter. The work function of zigzag SiCNT is always larger than that of armchair SiCNT. We reveal that the difference between the work function of zigzag and armchair SiCNT comes from their different intrinsic electronic structures, for which the singly degenerate energy band above the Fermi level of zigzag SiCNT is specifically responsible. Our finding offers potential usages of SiCNT in field-emission devices.