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Summary form only given. One-dimensional nanomaterials such as carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have potential application to cold-cathode electron devices. A growing number of nanotubes, nanorodes, nanowires and nanobelts have been synthesized and found to give good field electron emission performance. It seems that this trend will continue of discovery of more and more one-dimensional nanomaterials as candidates of cold-cathode. Intensive investigation has been carried out to characterize the properties and the processes of field emission from one-dimensional nanomaterials. Novel techniques have been developed for identifying the unique features in field emission possessed by nanomaterials. Effects of coherent scattering, nano-dimension and chirality on field emission from CNTs have been found theoretically and experimentally. Such unique features distinguish one-dimensional nanomaterials from conventional cold-cathode materials, and could have impact in the design and invention of cold-cathode electron devices. Techniques have continuously been developed for fabrication of device structures of cold-cathode electron sources using one-dimensional nanomaterials. One of the focuses has been on solve the problems arising from incompatibility between microfabrication and synthesis techniques. Novel device structures and procedures have been studied in order to overcome the difficulty. In addition, there has a growing effort to develop vacuum nanoelectronic devices beside vacuum microelectronic devices, and this new development set a number of challenges in the field. The above development in cold-cathode materials and electron devices has brought about the effort in theoretical study aimed at understanding physics involved. Mechanism responsible for low-field electron emission from CNTs has been an interesting topic and different models have been proposed for. Other topics have also attracted attention related to the unique features in field emission from one-dimensional nanomaterials. Potential applications of cold-cathode one-dimensional materials have been explored, such as that in the large-area devices such as field emission display (FED). Many more examples may be given on novel devices that are purposely designed for use of one-dimensional nanoemitters. This artic- le reviews recent developments in China in the above directions of research in relation to that in the world.