Imaging as-grown single-walled carbon nanotubes originated from isolated catalytic nanoparticles
Discrete catalytic nanoparticles with diameters in the range of 1–3 nm are obtained by placing controllable numbers of metal atoms into the cores of apoferritin. With nanoparticles placed on transmission electron microscope (TEM) grids coated with ultra-thin alumina membranes, isolated single-walled carbon nanotubes are grown by chemical vapor deposition and directly examined by TEM. The characterizations, carried out at single-tube and single-particle level, obtain clear evidence that the diameters of the nanotubes are determined by the diameters of catalytic nanoparticles. For the first time, both ends of an as-grown single-walled nanotube are imaged by TEM, leading to a microscopic picture of the nanotube-growth mechanism.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.