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The mechanism of the sudden termination of carbon nanotube supergrowth

Wang, Xiaozhi
Feng, Yan
Ünalan, Hüsnü Emrah
Zhong, Guofang
Li, Peng
Yu, He
Akinwande, Akintunde Ibitayo
Milne, W. I.
The effect of growth conditions and catalyst lifetime on the supergrowth of carbon nano tubes (CNTs) through a water assisted chemical vapor deposition has been investigated The reasons behind the observed sudden termination of the CNT growth were explored A proper amount of water was found to improve the activity of the catalyst and enhance the growth rate of CNTs However, the introduction of water did not extend the catalyst lifetime leading to unavoidable termination of the CNT growth Further experiments demonstrated that in addition to catalyzing the CNT growth, catalyst particles can also decompose/etch the C sp2/sp3 bonds including those in the CNTs The existing termination mechanism for the CNT growth fails to explain this We therefore propose a model based on the catalyst phase transformation using the Johnson-Mehl-Avrami-Kolmogorov theory to predict the growth rate and termination of the CNT growth Crown Copyright (C) 2010 Published by Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved