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Synthesis of carbon nanotubes with and without catalyst particles

Mark Hermann Rümmeli12*, Alicja Bachmatiuk1, Felix Börrnert1, Franziska Schäffel3, Imad Ibrahim12, Krzysztof Cendrowski14, Grazyna Simha-Martynkova5, Daniela Plachá5, Ewa Borowiak-Palen4, Gianaurelio Cuniberti26 and Bernd Büchner1

Author Affiliations

1 IFW Dresden, P.O. Box 270116, 01069 Dresden, Germany

2 Technische Universität Dresden, 01062 Dresden, Germany

3 University of Oxford, Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PH, UK

4 West Pomeranian University of Technology, ul. Pulaskiego 10, 70-322 Szczecin, Poland

5 Nanotechnology Center, VSB Technical University of Ostrava, 17. listopadu 15, 70833 Ostrava-Poruba, Czech Republic

6 National Center for Nanomaterials Technology, POSTECH, Pohang 790-784, Republic of Korea

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:303  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-303

Published: 7 April 2011


The initial development of carbon nanotube synthesis revolved heavily around the use of 3d valence transition metals such as Fe, Ni, and Co. More recently, noble metals (e.g. Au) and poor metals (e.g. In, Pb) have been shown to also yield carbon nanotubes. In addition, various ceramics and semiconductors can serve as catalytic particles suitable for tube formation and in some cases hybrid metal/metal oxide systems are possible. All-carbon systems for carbon nanotube growth without any catalytic particles have also been demonstrated. These different growth systems are briefly examined in this article and serve to highlight the breadth of avenues available for carbon nanotube synthesis.