A direct synthesis of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) on substrates by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) is one of highly probable routes to reach their application to field emission displays. Several stringent requirements are prerequisite for this purpose, including low temperature growth below 600°C to engage glass substrates and large area deposition for practical use. This study carried out synthesis of CNTs by thermal CVD on glass substrates at temperatures as low as 500~550°C. CNTs were grown by thermal decomposition of CO and H2 gases at an atmospheric pressure for different thickness of Invar (an Fe-Ni-Co alloy ) catalytic layers. The growth of CNTs was strongly correlated with preparation of catalytic layers. The diameters and heights of as-grown CNTs increased as the catalytic layers became thicker from 2nm to 30nm. Measurements of the field emission properties of CNTs showed that the threshold electric fields were lowered with increasing thickness of catalytic layers. A uniform electron emission was observed over a large area of 150 × 150mm2, with high emission currents and high brightness.