Fe-Ti-O based catalyst for large-chiral-angle single-walled carbon nanotube growth

Maoshuai He, Lili Zhang, Hua Jiang, He Yang, Frédéric Fossard, Hongzhi Cui, Zhipei Sun, Jakob Birkedal Wagner, Esko I. Kauppinen, Annick Loiseau

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    Catalyst selection is very crucial for controlled growth of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs). Here we introduce a well-designed Fe-Ti-O solid solution for SWNT growth with a high preference to large chiral angles. The Fe-Ti-O catalyst was prepared by combining Ti layer deposition onto premade Fe nanoparticles with subsequent high-temperature air calcination, which favours the formation of a homogeneous Fe-Ti-O solid solution. Using CO as the carbon feedstock, chemical vapour deposition growth of SWNTs at 800 °C was demonstrated on the Fe-Ti-O catalyst. Nanobeam electron diffraction characterization on a number of individual SWNTs revealed that more than 94% of SWNTs have chiral angles larger than 15°. In situ environmental transmission electron microscopy study was carried out to reveal the catalyst dynamics upon reduction. Our results identify that the phase segregation through reducing Fe-Ti-O catalyst leads to the formation of TiOx-supported small Fe nanoparticles for SWNT growth. The strong metal-support interactions induced by partial reduction of TiOx support promote the wettability of Fe nanoparticle, accounting for the preferential growth of large-chiral-angle SWNTs. This work opens a new avenue for chiral angle selective growth of SWNTs.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)865-871
    Number of pages7
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


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