We present a technique of manufacturing multiwall carbon nanotube (MWNT) field emitters by a nickel electrodeposition process, without using a surfactant to disperse the MWNTs in solution. Sonication adequately disperses individual MWNTs throughout the solution and MWNTs can be deposited onto a copper substrate. However, over time there is a reduction of the free MWNT concentration in solution and an associated change in the morphology of the deposit. The initial concentration of MWNTs in solution also plays a crucial role in the morphology of the deposits. The threshold field of electron field emission measurements remained in the order of 20 V/mu m regardless of the deposition conditions. (c) 2006 American Vacuum Society.