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The main idea proposed in this paper is that in a vertically aligned array of short carbon nanotubes (CNTs) grown on a metal substrate, we consider a frequency dependent electric field, so that the mode-specific propagation of phonons, in correspondence with the strained band structure and the dispersion curves, take place. We perform theoretical calculations to validate this idea with a view of optimizing the field emission behavior of the CNT array. This is the first approach of its kind, and is in contrast to the the conventional approach where a DC bias voltage is applied in order to observe field emission. A first set of experimental results presented in this paper gives a clear indication that phonon-assisted control of field emission current in CNT based thin film diode is possible.