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Generation of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes from Alcohol and Generation Mechanism by Molecular Dynamics Simulations

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Recent advances in high-purity and high-yield catalytic chemical vapor deposition (CVD) generation of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) from alcohol are comprehensively presented and discussed on the basis of results obtained from both experimental and numerical investigations. We have uniquely adopted alcohol as a carbon feedstock, and this has resulted in high-quality, low-temperature synthesis of SWNTs. This technique can produce SWNTs even at a very low temperature of 550 °C, which is about 300 °C lower than the conventional CVD methods in which methane or acetylene is typically used. We demonstrate the excellence of the proposed alcohol catalytic CVD method for high-yield production of SWNTs when Fe-Co on USY-zeolite powder was used as a catalyst. At optimum CVD conditions, a SWNT yield of more than 40 wt % was achieved over the weight of the catalytic powder within the reaction time of 120 min. In addition to the advantages for mass production, this method is also suitable for the direct synthesis of high-quality SWNTs on Si and quartz substrates when combined with the newly developed liquid-based "dip-coat" technique to mount catalytic metals on the surface of substrates. This method allows easy and costless loading of catalytic metals without the need for any support or underlayer materials that were usually required in previous studies for the generation of a sufficient quantity of SWNTs on an Si surface. Finally, the result of molecular dynamics simulation for the SWNT growth process is presented to obtain a fundamental insight into the initial growth mechanism on the catalytic particles.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2004-04-01

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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