Facile growth of high-yield and -crystallinity vertically aligned carbon nanotubes via a sublimated ferric chloride catalyst precursor

Hilal Goktas, Noa Lachman*, Estelle Kalfon-Cohen, Xiaoxue Wang, Stephen Torosian, Karen K. Gleason, Brian L. Wardle

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A facile and effective catalyst deposition process for carbon nanotube (CNT) array growth via chemical vapor deposition using a resistively heated thermal evaporation technique to sublimate FeCl3 onto the substrate is demonstrated. The catalytic activity of the sublimated FeCl3 catalyst precursor is shown to be comparable to the well-studied e-beam evaporated Fe catalyst, and the resulting vertically aligned CNTs (VA-CNTs) have a similar diameter, walls, and defects, as well as improved bulk electrical conductivity. In contrast to standard e-beam-deposited Fe, which yields base-growth CNTs, scanning and transmission electron microscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy characterizations reveal a tip-growth mechanism for the FeCl3-derived VA-CNT arrays/forests. The FeCl3-derived forests have a lower (∼1/3 less) longitudinal indentation modulus, but higher longitudinal electrical conductivity (greater than twice) than that of the e-beam Fe-grown CNT arrays. The sublimation process to grow high-quality VA-CNTs is a highly facile and scalable process (extensive substrate shape and size, and moderate vacuum and temperatures) that provides a new route to synthesizing aligned CNT forests for numerous applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number025001
JournalNano Futures
Volume7
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2023

Keywords

  • Carbon nanotubes synthesis
  • carbon nanotube arrays
  • electrical properties
  • sublimation of ferric chloride
  • vertically-aligned carbon nanotubes

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