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Graphitic encapsulation of catalyst particles in carbon nanotube production

Journal article
Authors Feng Ding
Arne Rosen
Eleanor E B Campbell
Lena K. L. Falk
Kim Bolton
Published in Journal of Physical Chemistry B
Volume 110
Issue 15
Pages 7666-7670
ISSN 1520-6106
Publication year 2006
Published at Department of Physics (GU)
Pages 7666-7670
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1021/jp055485y
Keywords SINGLE-WALLED NANOTUBES; METAL PARTICLES; MAGNETIC-PROPERTIES; MOLECULAR-DYNAMICS; SWNT GROWTH; GAS-PHASE; NANOPARTICLES; NANOCAPSULES; SIZE; NI
Subject categories Chemical Sciences, Physical Chemistry, Other materials science

Abstract

A new model is proposed for the encapsulation of catalyst metal particles by graphite layers that are obtained, for example, in low-temperature chemical vapor deposition production of carbon nanotubes (CNTs). In this model graphite layers are primarily formed from the dissolved carbon atoms in the metal-carbide particle when the particle cools. This mechanism is in good agreement with molecular dynamics simulations (which show that precipitated carbon atoms preferentially form graphite sheets instead of CNTs at low temperatures) and experimental results (e.g., encapsulated metal particles are found in low-temperature zones and CNTs in high-temperature regions of production apparatus, very small catalyst particles are generally not encapsulated, and the ratio of the number of graphitic layers to the diameter of the catalyst particle is typically 0.25 nm(-1)).

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