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Nanotechnology. 2008 Mar 5;19(9):095607. doi: 10.1088/0957-4484/19/9/095607. Epub 2008 Feb 12.

Growth of CNTs on Fe-Si catalyst prepared on Si and Al coated Si substrates.

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  • 1Department of Materials Science and Engineering, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan.


In this paper we report the effect of Al interlayers on the growth characteristics of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) using as-deposited and plasma etched Fe-Si catalyst films as the catalysts. Al interlayers having various thicknesses ranging from 2 to 42 nm were deposited on Si substrates prior to the deposition of Fe-Si catalysts. It was found that the Al interlayer diffuses into the Fe-Si catalyst during the plasma etching prior to the CNT growth, leading to the swelling and amorphization of the catalyst. This allows enhanced carbon diffusion in the catalyst and therefore a faster growth rate of the resulting CNTs. It was also found that use of an Al interlayer having a thickness of ∼3 ± 1 nm is most effective. Due to the effectiveness of this, the normally required catalyst etching is no longer needed for the growth of CNTs.

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