Nano Research

, 4:767

In Situ TEM observation of the gasification and growth of carbon nanotubes using iron catalysts

Authors

  • Xiaofeng Feng
    • Department of Physics and Tsinghua-Foxconn Nanotechnology Research CenterTsinghua University
  • See Wee Chee
    • Leroy Eyring Center for Solid State ScienceArizona State University
  • Renu Sharma
    • Leroy Eyring Center for Solid State ScienceArizona State University
  • Kai Liu
    • Department of Physics and Tsinghua-Foxconn Nanotechnology Research CenterTsinghua University
  • Xu Xie
    • Department of Physics and Tsinghua-Foxconn Nanotechnology Research CenterTsinghua University
  • Qunqing Li
    • Department of Physics and Tsinghua-Foxconn Nanotechnology Research CenterTsinghua University
  • Shoushan Fan
    • Department of Physics and Tsinghua-Foxconn Nanotechnology Research CenterTsinghua University
    • Department of Physics and Tsinghua-Foxconn Nanotechnology Research CenterTsinghua University
Research Article

DOI: 10.1007/s12274-011-0133-x

Cite this article as:
Feng, X., Chee, S.W., Sharma, R. et al. Nano Res. (2011) 4: 767. doi:10.1007/s12274-011-0133-x

Abstract

We report the in situ transmission electron microscope (TEM) observation of the catalytic gasification and growth of carbon nanotubes (CNTs). It was found that iron catalysts can consume the CNTs when pumping out the precursor gas, acetylene, at the growth temperature, and reinitiate the growth when acetylene is re-introduced. The switching between gasification and growth of CNTs can be repeated many times with the same catalyst. To understand the phenomenon, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) coupled with mass spectroscopy was used to study the mechanism involved. It was shown that the residual water molecules in the growth chamber of the TEM react with and remove carbon atoms of CNTs as carbon monoxide vapor under the action of the catalyst, when the precursor gas is pumped out. This result contributes to a better understanding of the water-assisted and oxygen-assisted synthesis of CNT arrays, and provides useful clues on how to extend the lifetime and improve the activity of the catalysts. https://static-content.springer.com/image/art%3A10.1007%2Fs12274-011-0133-x/MediaObjects/12274_2011_133_Fig1_HTML.jpg

Keywords

Carbon nanotubes gasification growth iron catalyst environmental transmission electron microscopy (ETEM) thermogravimetric analysis (TGA)

Supplementary material

12274_2011_133_MOESM1_ESM.zip (19.7 mb)
Supplementary material, approximately 19.6 MB.

Copyright information

© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011