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In Situ TA-MS Study of the Six-Membered-Ring-Based Growth of Carbon Nanotubes with Benzene Precursor

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journal contribution
posted on 04.02.2004 by Yajun Tian, Zheng Hu, Yong Yang, Xizhang Wang, Xin Chen, Hua Xu, Qiang Wu, Weijie Ji, Yi Chen
By using the in situ thermal analysis−mass spectroscopic technique, combined with transmission electron microscopic characterization of the carbon nanotube (CNT) product, we have studied the chemical vapor deposition (CVD) growth of CNTs with Fe−Co/γ-Al2O3 catalyst and benzene precursor in the range of room temperature to 700 °C. The growth process has been clearly illuminated, which starts from the reduction of catalyst around 645 °C followed by the dissociation of carbon−hydrogen bonds of benzene and the sequential growth of CNTs. A surprising fact is that no possible hydrocarbon species derived from benzene was detected, indicating that the carbon−carbon bond was not broken under our experimental conditions. All of the experimental results strongly reinforce the six-membered-ring-based growth model, and a schematic elucidation is presented accordingly. This in situ study not only reveals the unique and convincing information directly related to the growth mechanism from the involved chemistry, but also provides a powerful way to clarify the mechanism of CVD synthesis of CNTs with other precursors.