Multi-nucleation of single-walled carbon nanotubes in floating catalyst chemical vapor deposition

Saeed Ahmad*, Qiang Zhang, Er Xiong Ding, Hua Jiang, Esko I. Kauppinen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
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Floating-catalyst CVD (FCCVD) is a highly promising technique for the scalable synthesis of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs). The number concentration (NC) of catalyst particles is one of the process parameters which mainly influences yield of as-produced SWCNTs. In the conventional FCCVD methods, catalyst particles are usually synthesized by thermal decomposition of organometallic compounds inside the FCCVD reactor. Being in-situ catalyst formation in conventional FCCVD, it is an open question that how many SWCNTs a single catalyst particle can grow? Herein, we employed our novel spark discharged based FCCVD technique which decouples the formation of catalyst particles and SWCNTs synthesis into two subsequent process to investigate effects of catalyst NC on SWCNTs synthesis. The NC of both catalyst particles and SWCNTs in gas-phase were quantitatively compared using differential mobility analyzer (DMA). The DMA measurements corroborated with atomic force microscopy and X-rays photoelectron spectroscopy revealed that under carefully chosen reaction conditions in FCCVD, a single catalyst particle can grow more than one SWCNTs. We propose that after the growth of 1st SWCNT, the catalyst particle detach itself to start nucleating 2nd SWCNT and this process continues as long as the catalyst remains in the growth region of the FCCVD reactor.

Original languageEnglish
Article number140185
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalChemical Physics Letters
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Single walled carbon nanotubes
  • Spark discharge


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