Nanomaterials based electron sources are omnipresent in modern flat panel displays. Multi walled carbon nanotubes (MWNT) are the well studied electron emitter among the carbon materials. Since the surface modification of MWNT with low work function materials would have a positive impact on the field emission property of MWNT, cerium oxide (CeO2,nanoparticles dispersed multi walled carbon nanotubes (CeO2/MWNT) were synthesized by catalytic chemical vapour deposition followed by chemical reduction and its field emission property was investigated. The high-purity MWNT as well as CeO2/MWNT showed crystalline structure conformed by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). Further characterisation was done with Raman spectroscopy, UV-Visible absorption spectra and Fourier transform IR spectroscopy (FT-IR). The morphology and structural details of CeO2/MWNT composite was probed by field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) and energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX). The direct evidence of the formation of CeO2/MWNT composites was given by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The synthesized sample was coated over a flexible carbon paper using spin coating technique. The experiment was performed under a vacuum of 1×10?6 Torr and Fowler-Nordheim equation was used to analyse the data. The turn-on voltage for the cerium oxide dispersed MWNT was found for a current density of 10μA/cm2. The emission current density from the CeO2 nanoparticles dispersed MWNT reached 0.2 mA/cm2 at a reasonable bias field of 2.58 V/μm. The results were compared with those of pure MWNT and pure CeO2 nanoparticles with literature values. Copyright © 2012 American Scientific Publishers.