Millimeter-tall single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) forests were grown by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) from C2H2/H 2O/Ar using Fe/Al-Si-O catalysts. Using combinatorial catalyst libraries coupled with real-time monitoring of SWCNT growth, the catalyst and CVD conditions were systematically studied. The keys for this growth are to maintain the C2H2 pressure below its upper limit to prevent the killing of the catalysts and to grow the SWCNTs before the catalyst particles lose their activity because of coarsening through Ostwald ripening. Lower temperatures lead to lower limits for the C2H2 pressure which result in lower growth rates but also lead to even lower coarsening rates which result in even longer growth lifetimes. Using these principles, we grew 4.5-mm-tall SWCNT forests in 2.5 h at 750 °C.
ASJC Scopus subject areas