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Growth of Carbon Nanotubes on Copper Substrates Using a Nickel Thin Film Catalyst

  • Gowtam Atthipalli (a1), Prashant Kumta (a2), Wei Wang (a3), Rigved Epur (a4), Prashanth H Jampani (a5), Brett L. Allen (a6), Yifan Tang (a7), Alexander Star (a8) and Jennifer Gray (a9)...

Abstract

Carbon nanotubes with their attractive properties, one-dimensional character, and their large aspect ratio are ideal candidates for a variety of applications including energy storage, sensing, nanoelectronics, among others. We have studied the growth of carbon nanotubes on copper substrates using a nickel thin film as a catalyst. The catalyst was sputtered in a chamber having a base pressure in the ultra-high-vacuum regime. By adjusting the sputtering parameters, the effects of the morphology and the thickness of the nickel catalyst on the growth of carbon nanotubes have also been investigated. Multiple hydrocarbon sources as carbon feedstock (methane, acetylene and xylene) and corresponding catalyst precursors and varying temperature conditions were used during the Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) process to understand and best determine the ideal conditions for carbon nanotube growth on copper. Correlation between the thickness of the thin film nickel catalyst and the carbon nanotube diameter is also presented in the study. Characterization techniques used to study the morphology of the CNTs grown on copper include SEM, TEM and HRTEM, Raman Spectroscopy

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