We evaluate the growth kinetics and growth mechanism of ultrahigh mass density carbon nanotube forests. They are synthesized by chemical vapor deposition at 450 °C using a conductive Ti/Cu support and Co-Mo catalyst system. We find that Mo stabilizes Co particles preventing lift off during the initial growth stage, thus promoting the growth of ultrahigh mass density nanotube forests by the base growth mechanism. The morphology of the forest gradually changes with growth time, mostly because of a structural change of the catalyst particles. After 100 min growth, toward the bottom of the forest, the area density decreases from ∼3-6 × 1011cm-2to ∼5 × 1010cm-2and the mass density decreases from 1.6 to 0.38 g cm-3. We also observe part of catalyst particles detached and embedded within nanotubes. The progressive detachment of catalyst particles results in the depletion of the catalyst metals on the substrate surfaces. This is one of the crucial reasons for growth termination and may apply to other catalyst systems where the same features are observed. Using the packed forest morphology, we demonstrate patterned forest growth with a pitch of ∼300 nm and a line width of ∼150 nm. This is one of the smallest patterning of the carbon nanotube forests to date.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)