2007 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show - Nanotech 2007 - 10th Annual

Direct observation of carbon nanostructures growth using in-situ ultrahigh vacuum transmission electron microscopy

Y.L. Foo, M. Lin, J.P.Y. Tan, C.B. Boothroyd and E.S. Tok
Institute of Materials Research and Engineering, SG

Keywords:
carbon, mechanism

Abstract:
The growth dynamics of single-walled carbon nanotube (SWNT) is observed in real-time using an in-situ ultra-high vacuum transmission electron microscope at 650 oC. The SWNTs preferentially grow on smaller sized catalyst particles (diameter 6 nm) with three distinct growth regimes (incubation, growth and passivation). All the observed SWNTs grow via a base-growth mechanism with C diffusion on active Ni catalyst sites. Under the same experimental conditions, formation of carbon nanocages was observed on larger Ni catalyst particles. The evolution of SWNT or nanocages is dependent on catalyst size, and this can be rationalized from both energetics and kinetics considerations.

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