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Miniaturization is introduced as a novel methodology to enhance mass transport in a chemical vapor deposition process. As a result, amorphous carbon formation during the synthesis of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) can be deterred. Miniaturization also maintains a laminar flow pattern to ensure a stable growth condition. A system with micrometer-sized reaction chambers has been constructed to experimentally verify this concept. The results show that clean and small-diameter SWNTs with approximately millimeter length can be quickly synthesized using ethylene as the source gas. Similar experimental parameters in a conventional large-scale system failed to produce SWNTs with comparable quality due to catalyst poisoning.
Date of Publication: Feb. 2011