Vertically-aligned carbon nanotubes (VA-CNTs) were rapidly grown from ethanol and their chemistry has been studied using a "cold-gas" chemical vapor deposition (CVD) method. Ethanol vapor was preheated in a furnace, cooled down and then flowed over cobalt catalysts upon ribbon-shaped substrates at 800 °C, while keeping the gas unheated. CNTs were obtained from ethanol on a sub-micrometer scale without preheating, but on a millimeter scale with preheating at 1000 °C. Acetylene was predicted to be the direct precursor by gas chromatography and gas-phase kinetic simulation, and actually led to millimeter-tall VA-CNTs without preheating when fed with hydrogen and water. There was, however a difference in CNT structure, i.e. mainly few-wall tubes from pyrolyzed ethanol and mainly single-wall tubes for unheated acetylene, and the by-products from ethanol pyrolysis possibly caused this difference. The "cold-gas" CVD, in which the gas-phase and catalytic reactions are separately controlled, allowed us to further understand CNT growth.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)