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Femtosecond laser modification of an array of vertically aligned carbon nanotubes intercalated with Fe phase nanoparticles

Vladimir Labunov1, Alena Prudnikava1*, Serguei Bushuk2, Serguei Filatov3, Boris Shulitski1, Beng Kang Tay4, Yury Shaman5 and Alexander Basaev5

Author Affiliations

1 Laboratory of Integrated Micro- and Nanosystems, Belarusian State University of Informatics and Radioelectronics, P. Brovka St. 6, Minsk 220013, Republic of Belarus

2 Laboratory of Optical Diagnostics, B.I. Stepanov Institute of Physics of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, Minsk 220072, Republic of Belarus

3 Laboratory of Hydrogen Energy, Institute of Heat and Mass Transfer of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, Minsk 220072, Belarus

4 School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798, Singapore

5 Scientific-Manufacturing Complex Technological Centre MIET, K-498, Moscow 103498, Russia

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2013, 8:375  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-375

Published: 3 September 2013


Femtosecond lasers (FSL) are playing an increasingly important role in materials research, characterization, and modification. Due to an extremely short pulse width, interactions of FSL irradiation with solid surfaces attract special interest, and a number of unusual phenomena resulted in the formation of new materials are expected. Here, we report on a new nanostructure observed after the interaction of FSL irradiation with arrays of vertically aligned carbon nanotubes (CNTs) intercalated with iron phase catalyst nanoparticles. It was revealed that the FSL laser ablation transforms the topmost layer of CNT array into iron phase nanospheres (40 to 680 nm in diameter) located at the tip of the CNT bundles of conical shape. Besides, the smaller nanospheres (10 to 30 nm in diameter) are found to be beaded at the sides of these bundles. Some of the larger nanospheres are encapsulated into carbon shells, which sometime are found to contain CNTs. The mechanism of creation of such nanostructures is proposed.