Indexed on: 23 Oct '12Published on: 23 Oct '12Published in: Nanoscale
Carbon nanotubes grown from discrete Fe-containing nanoparticles dispersed on a silicon nitride transmission electron microscope grid were systematically studied. The (n,m) indices of produced single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) were deduced from their electron diffraction patterns. Relatively small diameter SWNTs with a narrow diameter distribution (0.7-1.6 nm) were produced using CO as the carbon source at 800 °C, while large diameter SWNTs ranging from 1.0 nm to 4.7 nm were synthesized when using CH(4) as the carbon source. The chiral angle distributions of the SWNTs produced from different carbon sources are also different, which are attributed to the preferred cap nucleation associated with the carbon feed rate on the catalyst instead of carbon nanotube growth kinetics. Furthermore, growth of carbon laminar nanoclusters inside carbon nanotubes was achieved at a higher growth temperature, suggesting that dissociated carbon diffuses across the nanoparticle during the nanotube growth process.