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Direct catalytic growth of high-density carbon nanotubes on nanoclusters at low temperatures

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6 Author(s)
Naigui Shang ; Nano-Electronics Centre, Advanced Technology Institute, University of Surrey, Guildford, GU2 7XH, United Kingdom ; G. Y. Chen ; Y. Y. Tan ; V. Stolojan
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Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have received extensive attention due to their one-dimensional structure and ability to demonstrate many novel physical and chemical phenomena in the quantum scale. However, the application of CNTs in electronics is hindered due to their higher growth temperatures which are usually in excess of 500 °C, which is not compatible with current semiconductor technology in industry. Low temperature growth is necessary for integrating CNTs into standard semiconductor devices such as CMOS and large-scale integrated circuits. To date, various techniques have been utilised to lower the CNT growth temperature by: 1. using various carbon sources with lower dissociation temperature; 2. exploring metal catalyst films of the low melting point or metal nanoparticles as catalysts; and, 3. introducing a plasma during deposition to increase the dissociation and ionization of feed gases. In this study, we report the low temperature growth of vertically aligned high-density CNTs by a DC plasma chemical vapour deposition method, using Ni nanoclusters as catalysts. The Ni nanoclusters are free from a high-temperature formation process compared to the film based catalysts and directly demonstrate catalytic growth of CNTs at substrate temperatures as low as 390 °C. The density of as-grown CNTs is up to 10 /cm , as shown in Figure 1. Transmission electron microscopy studies show the CNTs are made of crystalline graphene shells and have a uniform diameter distribution. The field electron emission properties of the samples are investigated.

Published in:

Vacuum Electron Sources Conference and Nanocarbon (IVESC), 2010 8th International

Date of Conference:

14-16 Oct. 2010