We investigate the formation and stability of Fe nanoparticles on TiN and poly-crystalline PtSi films, and their ability to grow carbon nanotubes forests. Using different-microstructure films, coated with or without their native oxides, we show that, upon purely-thermal catalyst pretreatment, PtSi favours the formation of homogenously sized nanoparticles and forest growth, partly due to its low surface energy. TiN, in contrast, leads to much less controllable processes and only when coated with its native oxide, or with thick catalyst films, yields large diameter nanotube forests. The microstructure of the material can dramatically limit catalyst diffusion into the bulk of the support during nanotube growth. These results allow us to establish the general behaviour expected for nanotube growth on any conductive materials.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)