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High-precision solid catalysts for investigation of carbon nanotube synthesis and structure.

Science advances (2020-10-02)
Xiao Zhang, Brian Graves, Michael De Volder, Wenming Yang, Tyler Johnson, Bo Wen, Wei Su, Robert Nishida, Sishen Xie, Adam Boies
ABSTRACT

The direct growth of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) with narrow chiral distribution remains elusive despite substantial benefits in properties and applications. Nanoparticle catalysts are vital for SWCNT and more generally nanomaterial synthesis, but understanding their effect is limited. Solid catalysts show promise in achieving chirality-controlled growth, but poor size control and synthesis efficiency hampers advancement. Here, we demonstrate the first synthesis of refractory metal nanoparticles (W, Mo, and Re) with near-monodisperse sizes. High concentrations (N = 105 to 107 cm-3) of nanoparticles (diameter 1 to 5 nm) are produced and reduced in a single process, enabling SWCNT synthesis with controlled chiral angles of 19° ± 5°, demonstrating abundance >93%. These results confirm the interface thermodynamics and kinetic growth theory mechanism, which has been extended here to include temporal dependence of fast-growing chiralities. The solid catalysts are further shown effective via floating catalyst growth, offering efficient production possibilities.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Ammonium molybdate tetrahydrate, BioUltra, ≥99.0% (T)
Sigma-Aldrich
Ammonium metatungstate hydrate, 99.99% trace metals basis
Sigma-Aldrich
Ammonium perrhenate, ≥99%