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Sci Rep. 2015 Jun 11;5:11281. doi: 10.1038/srep11281.

Y-junction carbon nanocoils: synthesis by chemical vapor deposition and formation mechanism.

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State Key Laboratory of Separation Membranes and Membrane Processes, School of Material Science and Engineering, Tianjin Polytechnic University, Tianjin 300387, China.
School of Physics and Optoelectronic Technology, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian 116024, China.


Y-junction carbon nanocoils (Y-CNCs) were synthesized by thermal chemical vapor deposition using Ni catalyst prepared by spray-coating method. According to the emerging morphologies of Y-CNCs, several growth models were advanced to elucidate their formation mechanisms. Regarding the Y-CNCs without metal catalyst in the Y-junctions, fusing of contiguous CNCs and a tip-growth mechanism are considered to be responsible for their formation. However, as for the Y-CNCs with catalyst presence in the Y-junctions, the formation can be ascribed to nanoscale soldering/welding and bottom-growth mechanism. It is found that increasing spray-coating time for catalyst preparation generates agglomerated larger nanoparticles strongly adhering to the substrate, resulting in bottom-growth of CNCs and appearance of the metal catalyst in the Y-junctions. In the contrary case, CNCs catalyzed by isolated smaller nanoparticles develop Y-junctions with an absence of metal catalyst by virtue of weaker adhesion of catalyst with the substrate and tip-growth of CNCs.

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