, Volume 4, Issue 8, pp 814-819,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 15 May 2009

SiC Nanorods Grown on Electrospun Nanofibers Using Tb as Catalyst: Fabrication, Characterization, and Photoluminescence Properties


Well-crystallized β-SiC nanorods grown on electrospun nanofibers were synthesized by carbothermal reduction of Tb doped SiO2 (SiO2:Tb) nanofibers at 1,250 °C. The as-synthesized SiC nanorods were 100–300 nm in diameter and 2–3 μm in length. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) results suggested that the growth of the SiC nanorods should be governed by vapor-liquid-solid (VLS) mechanism with Tb metal as catalyst. Tb(NO3)3 particles on the surface of the electrospun nanofibers were decomposed at 500 °C and later reduced to the formation of Tb nanoclusters at 1,200 °C, and finally the formation of a Si–C–Tb ally droplet will stimulate the VLS growth at 1,250 °C. Microstructure of the nanorod was further investigated by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). It was found that SiC <111> is the preferred initial growth direction. The liquid droplet was identified to be Si86Tb14, which acted as effective catalyst. Strong green emissions were observed from the SiC nanorod samples. Four characteristic photoluminescence (PL) peaks of Tb ions were also identified.