Tailoring (n,m) structure of single-walled carbon nanotubes by modifying reaction conditions and the nature of the support of CoMo catalysts

J Phys Chem B. 2006 Feb 9;110(5):2108-15. doi: 10.1021/jp056095e.


The (n,m) population distribution of single-walled carbon nanotubes obtained on supported CoMo catalysts has been determined by photoluminescence and optical absorption. It has been found that the (n,m) distribution can be controlled by varying the gaseous feed composition, the reaction temperature, and the type of catalyst support used. When using CO as a feed over CoMo/SiO2 catalysts, increasing the synthesis temperature results in an increase in nanotube diameter, without a change in the chiral angle. By contrast, by changing the support from SiO2 to MgO, nanotubes with similar diameter but different chiral angles are obtained. Finally, keeping the same reaction conditions but varying the composition of the gaseous feed results in different (n,m) distribution. The clearly different distributions obtained when varying catalysts support and/or reaction conditions demonstrate that the (n,m) distribution is a result of differences in the growth kinetics, which in turn depends on the nanotube cap-metal cluster interaction.