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Dynamic Catalyst Restructuring during Carbon Nanotube Growth

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posted on 28.12.2010, 00:00 by Michael Moseler, Felipe Cervantes-Sodi, Stephan Hofmann, Gábor Csányi, Andrea C. Ferrari
We study the restructuring of solid nickel catalyst nanoparticles during carbon nanotube growth by environmental transmission electron microscopy and multiscale modeling. Our molecular dynamics/continuum transport calculations of surface-diffusion-mediated restructuring are in quantitative agreement with the experimentally observed catalyst shape evolutions. The restructuring time scale is determined by reduced Ni diffusion through the stepped Ni−C interface region where the catalyst surface strongly anchors to the growing nanotube.