Catalytic Action of Gold and Copper Crystals in the Growth of Carbon Nanotubes

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Multi-wall carbon nanotubes are grown in a chemical vapor deposition process by using bulk gold and copper substrates as catalysts. Nanotube growth starts from a nanometer-sized roughness on the metal surfaces and occurs in a mechanism where the catalyst particle is either at the tip (Au) or root (Cu) of the growing nanotube. Whereas Au leads to nanotubes with good structural perfection, nanotubes grown from Cu show a higher density of defects. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy shows the bonding between Au and carbon at the metal-nanotube interface whereas no bonds between Cu and carbon occur. Highly mobile Au or Cu atoms adsorb at the growing edge of a carbon nanotube from where diffusion along the nanotube wall can lead to the formation of Au or Cu nanowires inside the central hollow of carbon nanotubes.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: April 1, 2011

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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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