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Growth of carbon nanotubes in six orthogonal directions on spherical alumina microparticles

He, Delong, Li, Hao, Li, Weilong, Haghi-Ashtiani, Paul, Lejay, Pascal, Bai, Jinbo
Carbon 2011 v.49 no.7 pp. 2273-2286
acetylene, aluminum oxide, carbon, carbon nanotubes, crystallography, transmission electron microscopy, vapors, xylene
Multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) of uniform diameter grow in six orthogonal directions on micrometer spherical alumina particles by chemical vapor deposition. A mixture of xylene and acetylene is used as the carbon source for the growth of CNTs. Detailed investigation shows that the MWCNT arrangement is greatly dependent on the geometry, size and crystallography of the alumina microparticles. Similar CNT growth is found on the pristine and high-temperature (1350°C) treated particles under the experimental conditions used. Characterization of the treated particles reveals that the growth of CNTs occurs at the crystal step sites, which also exist on the surface of pristine microparticles. The CNT organization varies with the orientation of the crystal steps. The specific surface structures potentially determine the growth of CNTs in six orthogonal directions. The directions of the CNT bundles are normal to {0002} or {11¯00} planes, according to selected area diffraction analysis by transmission electron microscopy.