Diameter-controlled growth of aligned single-walled carbon nanotubes on quartz using molecular nanoclusters as catalyst precursors

Research paper by Fei Peng, Da Luo, Hao Sun, JinYong Wang, Feng Yang, RuoMing Li, Juan Yang, Yan Li

Indexed on: 26 Feb '13Published on: 26 Feb '13Published in: Chinese science bulletin = Kexue tongbao


Molecular nanoclusters containing Fe and Mo atoms have been used as catalyst precursors for the growth of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) on stable temperature (ST)-cut quartz substrates by chemical vapor deposition. Attribute to the uniform catalyst nanoparticles and the confinement effect of the crystalline substrates, well-aligned SWNTs with narrow diameter distribution have been synthesized. Atomic force microscopy measurements show that the mean diameter of the nanotubes obtained by thermal decomposition of ethanol at 900°C is 0.76 ± 0.16 nm, which is the smallest among all reported results for aligned SWNTs. The mean diameter of the nanotubes increases with growth temperature. In addition to using identical nanoclusters as the catalyst precursors, the avoidance of annealing treatment of catalyst precursors is also a key point for obtaining SWNTs with controlled diameters. Using these identical nanoclusters as catalyst precursors and carefully tuning the growth parameters make us closer to the ultimate goal of controlling the chirality of SWNTs.