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Open Access Nano Express

Carbon nanotubes on nanoporous alumina: from surface mats to conformal pore filling

Jinghua Fang12, Igor Levchenko13*, Zhao Jun Han1, Samuel Yick13 and Kostya Ken Ostrikov134

Author Affiliations

1 Plasma Nanoscience Laboratories, Manufacturing Flagship, CSIRO, P.O. Box 218, Lindfield, NSW 2070, Australia

2 School of Physics, University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC 3010, Australia

3 Complex Systems, School of Physics, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia

4 Institute for Future Environments and School of Chemistry, Physics, and Mechanical Engineering, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD 4000, Australia

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2014, 9:390  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-390

Published: 12 August 2014

Abstract

Control over nucleation and growth of multi-walled carbon nanotubes in the nanochannels of porous alumina membranes by several combinations of posttreatments, namely exposing the membrane top surface to atmospheric plasma jet and application of standard S1813 photoresist as an additional carbon precursor, is demonstrated. The nanotubes grown after plasma treatment nucleated inside the channels and did not form fibrous mats on the surface. Thus, the nanotube growth mode can be controlled by surface treatment and application of additional precursor, and complex nanotube-based structures can be produced for various applications. A plausible mechanism of nanotube nucleation and growth in the channels is proposed, based on the estimated depth of ion flux penetration into the channels.

PACS

63.22.Np Layered systems; 68. Surfaces and interfaces; Thin films and nanosystems (structure and non-electronic properties); 81.07.-b Nanoscale materials and structures: fabrication and characterization

Keywords:
Carbon nanotubes; Alumina template; Plasma treatment