Carbon nanotubes with different structures were catalytically synthesized on Ni coated SiO2/Si substrate in a Direct Current Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapour Deposition system, in which C2H2 acted as the carbon source and NH3 as the etchant gas. A Scanning Electron Microscope study showed that carbon nanotubes were all vertically aligned with respect to the substrate, with diameters ranging from 10 nm to 200 nm. Different sizes of Ni catalyst particles were observed on the tips of carbon nanotubes. Transmission Electron Microscopy was used to study the morphology of the grown tubes and the results obtained show that the diameters and structures of these carbon nanotubes were closely correlated to the sizes and structures of the Ni nanoparticles. Two main structures namely bamboo shaped carbon nanotubes and herringbone shaped carbon nanofibres were found on the same sample. It is suggested that by controlling the pre-growth condition, desired structure of carbon nanotubes or carbon nanofibres could be produced for practical applications.
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