Studies on mechanism of single-walled carbon nanotube formation

Albert G. Nasibulin, Paula Queipo, Sergei D. Shandakov, David P. Brown, Hua Jiang, Peter V. Pikhitsa, Oleg V. Tolochko, Esko I. Kauppinen

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62 Citations (Scopus)


We presented detailed studies of the formation of single-walled carbon nanotubes by an aerosol method based on the introduction of pre-formed catalyst particles into conditions leading to carbon nanotube synthesis. Carbon monoxide and iron nanoparticles were used as a carbon source and a catalyst, respectively. The vital role of etching agents such as CO 2 and H 2O in CNT formation was demonstrated on the basis of on-line Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy measurements. Hydrogen was shown to participate in the reaction of carbon release and to prevent the oxidation of the catalyst particles and the hot wire. The addition of H 2 and small amounts of CO 2 and H 2O led to an increase in the carbon nanotube lengths. The catalyst particle evaporation process inside the reactor was found to become significant at temperatures higher than 1100 °C. The carbon nanotube growth was found to occur at a temperature of around 900 °C in the heating section of the reactor by in situ sampling and the growth rate was calculated to exceed 1.1 μm/s. A detailed analysis of possible processes during carbon nanotube formation revealed heptagon transformation as a limiting stage. A mechanism for carbon nanotube formation was proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1233-1246
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Aerosol Synthesis
  • Etching
  • FT-IR
  • Growth Rate
  • Heptagon Transformation
  • In Situ Sampling
  • Mechanism
  • Single-Walled CNT


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