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Ballast resistor under layer can improve reliability and stability of field emission cathode. But it has not been used in carbon nanotube based field emitters. In this article, we introduce a fabrication process of a low-density vertically aligned CNT array with a ballast resistor layer. Its average emission current is ~0.9uA /CNT, close to the suggested maximum emission current of safety operation. Furthermore, a diode structure X-ray with this cathode is also demonstrated.