A study of catalytic nanocarbon synthesis by means of quantum mechanical methods

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2012
Tezsevin, İlker
Throughout this thesis work, surface nanocarbon synthesis on metal catalyst surfaces was investigated as the first step of carbon nanotube production mechanism. Study was aimed to make a comparison between the performances of selected catalyst surfaces and to find most probable mechanism for the nanocarbon synthesis on the metal catalyst surface. Formation of nanocarbon from the acetylene as carbon source on the selected Fe(111), Ni(111) and Ni(100) surfaces were studied by means of quantum mechanics. Density functional theory (DFT) was implemented periodically by using Vienna Ab-initio Simulation Package (VASP) code for the computations required. Relative energy profiles of the interested mechanisms were generated by the usage of equilibrium geometry calculations, climbing image nudged elastic band (CI-NEB) calculations and transition state calculations. Formation step of surface nanocarbon, with the decomposition of the carbon source, is the rate determining step of carbon nanotube production. Therefore, results of the nanocarbon synthesis study were related to carbon nanotube synthesis. For the mechanistic study, surface-acetylene complex was obtained by the adsorption of the acetylene on the chosen catalyst surface. Then three different mechanisms were studied for the dehydrogenation process. These processes were named as direct hydrogen-hydrogen interaction, hydrogen atom desorption and surface-hydrogen interaction methods. Among these methods surface-hydrogen interaction methods resulted in minimum activation barriers for all three surfaces used and said to be the most probable mechanism. Finally, relative energy profiles of the mechanisms were compared for the Fe(111), Ni(100) and Ni(111) surfaces and performance of Fe(111) for CNT synthesis was found better than the others.

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Citation Formats
İ. Tezsevin, “A study of catalytic nanocarbon synthesis by means of quantum mechanical methods,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2012.