Millimeter-tall single-walled carbon nanotubes rapidly grown with and without water

Kei Hasegawa, Suguru Noda*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Citations (Scopus)


Millimeter-tall vertically aligned single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) were grown in 10-15 min by chemical vapor deposition from C2H 2/Ar with or without water addition using Fe catalyst supported on an Al-Si-O underlayer. Using combinatorial catalyst libraries coupled with the real-time monitoring of SWCNT growth, the catalyst and chemical vapor deposition conditions were systematically examined, and millimeter-tall SWCNTs were obtained even without water addition. The key for millimeter-scale growth of SWCNTs is to limit the C2H2 supply to below a certain partial pressure to retain an active catalyst. Water prolongs the catalyst lifetime under excess C2H2 supply, whereas it deactivates small catalyst particles and degrades the quality of SWCNTs at the same time. We also observed a gradual increase in the diameter of SWCNTs with growth because of the coarsening of catalyst particles and found that water had no effect on this phenomenon. We demonstrate millimeter-tall SWCNTs grown by simply using C2H2/Ar gas without water addition, which revealed the mysterious role of water, and we show a practical route for the large-scale production of SWCNTs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)975-984
Number of pages10
JournalACS Nano
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Feb 22
Externally publishedYes


  • catalytic chemical vapor deposition
  • coarsening of catalyst particles
  • combinatorial catalyst screening
  • growth and termination mechanisms
  • real-time monitoring
  • single-walled carbon nanotubes
  • water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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