Aligned Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube Arrays from Rhodium Catalysts with Unexpected Diameter Uniformity Independent of the Catalyst Size and Growth Temperature
Diameter control in the synthesis of single-walled carbon nanotube (SWNT) arrays is vital to the control of their properties and their integration into practical devices. Controlling the size of catalyst nanoparticles (NPs) and following a tangential nucleation mode has been shown to be an effective approach to diameter control of SWNTs. The size distribution of SWNTs, however, was much wider than that of the catalyst NPs because of the evolution of catalysts at high growth temperatures. Here, we demonstrate that rhodium (Rh) nanoparticles serve as highly active catalysts for the synthesis of dense and aligned arrays of SWNTs and offer unexpected diameter control via a perpendicular nucleation mode. The diameter distribution of SWNTs grown from the Rh catalysts is much narrower than that from conventional iron and copper catalysts and is independent of the size and shape of the catalyst NPs. More importantly, the Rh catalysts have remarkable catalytic activity at reduced temperatures (<800°C) and exhibit improved chirality control through a decrease in the growth temperature.
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