Multi-Directional Growth of Aligned Carbon Nanotubes Over Catalyst Film Prepared by Atomic Layer Deposition

Kai Zhou, Jia-Qi Huang, Qiang Zhang and Fei Wei*

Author Affiliations

Beijing Key Laboratory of Green Chemical Reaction Engineering and Technology, Department of Chemical Engineering, Tsinghua University, 100084, Beijing, China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2010, 5:1555-1560  doi:10.1007/s11671-010-9676-0

Published: 23 June 2010


The structure of vertically aligned carbon nanotubes (CNTs) severely depends on the properties of pre-prepared catalyst films. Aiming for the preparation of precisely controlled catalyst film, atomic layer deposition (ALD) was employed to deposit uniform Fe2O3 film for the growth of CNT arrays on planar substrate surfaces as well as the curved ones. Iron acetylacetonate and ozone were introduced into the reactor alternately as precursors to realize the formation of catalyst films. By varying the deposition cycles, uniform and smooth Fe2O3 catalyst films with different thicknesses were obtained on Si/SiO2 substrate, which supported the growth of highly oriented few-walled CNT arrays. Utilizing the advantage of ALD process in coating non-planar surfaces, uniform catalyst films can also be successfully deposited onto quartz fibers. Aligned few-walled CNTs can be grafted on the quartz fibers, and they self-organized into a leaf-shaped structure due to the curved surface morphology. The growth of aligned CNTs on non-planar surfaces holds promise in constructing hierarchical CNT architectures in future.

Aligned carbon nanotubes; Atomic layer deposition; Chemical vapor deposition; Catalysis; Nanotechnology