Horizontally aligned single-walled carbon nanotube on quartz from a large variety of metal catalysts

Nano Lett. 2008 Aug;8(8):2576-9. doi: 10.1021/nl801007r. Epub 2008 Jul 2.


Horizontally aligned single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) are highly desired for SWNT device applications. A large variety of metals including Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Pt, Pd, Mn, Mo, Cr, Sn, Au, Mg, and Al successfully catalyzed the growth of such tubes on stable temperature (ST)-cut quartz by lattice guidance. In addition, Mg and Al were presented to produce random and aligned SWNTs for the first time. A hypothesis is proposed in which the precipitated carbon shell on the outer surface of the metal catalysts guides the alignment along the crystal lattice but not the catalysts themselves. By elucidating the role of the catalysts, an understanding of the aligned growth mechanism on quartz is further improved. Moreover, a simple "scratch" method by a razor blade such as the carbon steel and tungsten carbide (with 9% cobalt) is presented to pattern the "catalysts" without any complex processing steps such as lithography for the aligned SWNT growth.