Millimeter-tall vertically-aligned carbon nanotubes (VA-CNTs) were grown from ethanol under ambient pressure by Co-catalyzed chemical vapor deposition (CVD), with systematic optimization of the CVD temperature and catalytic conditions using combinatorial catalyst libraries. We investigated the use of both aluminum oxide and silicon oxide as underlayers for the Co catalyst and found that VA-CNTs grew to millimeter heights in 15-30 min when the pyrolysis of ethanol was carried out at high temperatures (≥850 °C) and long residence times (≥10 s). Thick Co catalytic layers (≥1.3 nm) produced (sub)millimeter-tall multi-walled VA-CNTs on both the aluminum oxide and silicon oxide underlayers. However, thin Co catalytic layers (0.62-1.0 nm) produced (sub)millimeter-tall VA-CNTs, which consisted mainly of single-walled CNTs, only on the aluminum oxide underlayers. Stripe patterns were found in the VA-CNTs near the substrate on both aluminum oxide and silicon oxide, indicating some instability prior to growth termination. The possible roles of aluminum oxide in growing millimeter-tall single-walled VA-CNTs were discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)