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Scalable synthesis of aligned carbon nanotubes bundles using green natural precursor: neem oil

Rajesh Kumar, Radhey Shyam Tiwari* and Onkar Nath Srivastava

Author Affiliations

Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Unit. Department of Physics, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi-221005, India

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:92  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-92

Published: 18 January 2011


Practical application of aligned carbon nanotubes (ACNTs) would have to be determined by a matter of its economical and large-scale preparation. In this study, neem oil (also named Margoaa oil, extracted from the seeds of the neem--Azadirachta indica) was used as carbon source to fabricate the bundles of ACNTs. ACNTs have been synthesized by spray pyrolysis of neem oil and ferrocene mixture at 825°C. The major components of neem oil are hydrocarbon with less amount of oxygen, which provided the precursor species in spray pyrolysis growth of CNTs. The bundles of ACNTs have been grown directly inside the quartz tube. The as-grown ACNTs have been characterized through Raman spectroscopy, scanning and transmission electron microscopic (SEM/TEM) techniques. SEM images reveal that the bundles of ACNTs are densely packed and are of several microns in length. High-resolution TEM analysis reveals these nanotubes to be multi-walled CNTs. These multi-walled CNTs were found to have inner diameter between 15 and 30 nm. It was found that present technique gives high yield with high density of bundles of ACNTs.