Preparation of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) has been advanced by controlling several parameters including the catalyst and the catalyst support material. Although zeolite has been frequently used as a catalyst support material for the synthesis of SWNTs, detailed surface properties of previously employed zeolites and thus their role as a catalyst support material have not been sufficiently clarified yet. In this study, a clean b-plane surface of silicalite-1, which is a siliceous MFI-type zeolite, was used as a model substrate for the synthesis of SWNTs. The amount of active cobalt used for SWNT generation was smaller than the initially sputtered amount, and XPS measurements revealed diffusion of cobalt into the zeolite framework. The diffused cobalt was found to interact strongly with the silica framework of zeolite. The diffusion coefficient of cobalt in silicalite-1 zeolite was larger than that in thermally oxidized SiO 2 formed on a Si substrate. This difference was ascribed to the microporous structure and lower density of zeolite. In this study, the state of the cobalt catalyst and the interaction between cobalt and the crystalline zeolite substrate is presented and discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas