Chemical Vapour Deposition Growth of Carbon Nanotube Forests: Kinetics, Morphology, Composition, and Their Mechanisms

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Title: Chemical Vapour Deposition Growth of Carbon Nanotube Forests: Kinetics, Morphology, Composition, and Their Mechanisms
Authors: Vinten, Phillip A.
Date: 2013
Abstract: This thesis analyzes the chemical vapour deposition (CVD) growth of vertically aligned carbon nanotube (CNT) forests in order to understand how CNT forests grow, why they stop growing, and how to control the properties of the synthesized CNTs. In situ kinetics data of the growth of CNT forests are gathered by in situ optical microscopy. The overall morphology of the forests and the characteristics of the individual CNTs in the forests are investigated using scanning electron microscopy and Raman spectroscopy. The in situ data show that forest growth and termination are activated processes (with activation energies on the order of 1 eV), suggesting a possible chemical origin. The activation energy changes at a critical temperature for ethanol CVD (approximately 870°C). These activation energies and critical temperature are also seen in the temperature dependence of several important characteristics of the CNTs, including the defect density as determined by Raman spectroscopy. This observation is seen across several CVD processes and suggests a mechanism of defect healing. The CNT diameter also depends on the growth temperature. In this thesis, a thermodynamic model is proposed. This model predicts a temperature and pressure dependence of the CNT diameter from the thermodynamics of the synthesis reaction and the effect of strain on the enthalpy of formation of CNTs. The forest morphology suggests significant interaction between the constituent CNTs. These interactions may play a role in termination. The morphology, in particular a microscale rippling feature that is capable of diffracting light, suggest a non-uniform growth rate across the forest. A gas phase diffusion model predicts a non-uniform distribution of the source gas. This gas phase diffusion is suggested as a possible explanation for the non-uniform growth rate. The gas phase diffusion is important because growth by acetylene CVD is found to be very efficient (approximately 30% of the acetylene is converted to CNTs). It is seen that multiple mechanisms are active during CNT growth. The results of this thesis provide insight into both the basic understanding of the microscopic processes involved in CVD growth and how to control the properties of the synthesized CNTs.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/24165
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-3006
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -
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