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Micron. 2004;35(6):455-60.

TEM investigation on the growth mechanism of carbon nanotubes synthesized by hot-filament chemical vapor deposition.

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  • 1State Key Laboratory for Mesoscopic Physics and Electron Microscopy Laboratory, School of Physics, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China.


Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) were synthesized using hot-filament chemical vapor deposition on Ni film-coated Si substrate. The CNTs were well-aligned perpendicular to the substrate. The as-grown CNTs were bamboo-like in their morphology, and were investigated using SEM and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM). The SEM and HRTEM studies show that the both ends of a CNT contain metallic catalytic particles, which is different from results previously reported. Our analysis results provide strong evidence that the metallic catalyst remains in a liquid state during nanotube growth. The upward-growth pulling force of the CNT layer elongates the liquid nanoparticles, which are finally broken into two parts. One part remains at the substrate surface (base of the CNTs) and is responsible for the catalytic growth of the CNTs. The other part is enclosed at the tip of the CNTs and is inactive during CNT growth.

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