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Synthesis and Enhanced Field-Emission of Thin-Walled, Open-Ended, and Well-Aligned N-Doped Carbon Nanotubes

Tongxiang Cui1, Ruitao Lv1, Feiyu Kang1*, Qiang Hu2, Jialin Gu1, Kunlin Wang3 and Dehai Wu3

Author Affiliations

1 Laboratory of Advanced Materials, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing, 100084, China

2 Department of Electronic Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing, 100084, China

3 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Key Laboratory for Advanced Manufacturing by Materials Processing Technology of Ministry of Education, Tsinghua University, Beijing, 100084, China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2010, 5:941-948  doi:10.1007/s11671-010-9586-1

Published: 31 March 2010


Thin-walled, open-ended, and well-aligned N-doped carbon nanotubes (CNTs) on the quartz slides were synthesized by using acetonitrile as carbon sources. As-obtained products possess large thin-walled index (TWI, defined as the ratio of inner diameter and wall thickness of a CNT). The effect of temperature on the growth of CNTs using acetonitrile as the carbon source was also investigated. It is found that the diameter, the TWI of CNTs increase and the Fe encapsulation in CNTs decreases as the growth temperature rises in the range of 780–860°C. When the growth temperature is kept at 860°C, CNTs with TWI = 6.2 can be obtained. It was found that the filed-emission properties became better as CNT growth temperatures increased from 780 to 860°C. The lowest turn-on and threshold field was 0.27 and 0.49 V/μm, respectively. And the best field-enhancement factors reached 1.09 × 105, which is significantly improved about an order of magnitude compared with previous reports. In this study, about 30 × 50 mm2 free-standing film of thin-walled open-ended well-aligned N-doped carbon nanotubes was also prepared. The free-standing film can be transferred easily to other substrates, which would promote their applications in different fields.

Carbon nanotubes; Thin-walled open-ended and aligned; Thin-walled index; Bamboo-shaped carbon nanotubes; Field emission; Free-standing