Letter abstract

Nature Materials 8, 882 - 886 (2009)
Published online: 20 September 2009 | doi:10.1038/nmat2531

Subject Categories: Catalytic materials | Nanoscale materials

Linking catalyst composition to chirality distributions of as-grown single-walled carbon nanotubes by tuning NixFe1−x nanoparticles

Wei-Hung Chiang1 & R. Mohan Sankaran1


Chirally pure single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) are required for various applications ranging from nanoelectronics to nanomedicine1. Although significant efforts have been directed towards separation of SWCNT mixtures, including density-gradient ultracentrifugation 2, chromatography3 and electrophoresis4, the initial chirality distribution is determined during growth and must be controlled for non-destructive, scalable and economical production. Here, we show that the chirality distribution of as-grown SWCNTs can be altered by varying the composition of NixFe1−x nanocatalysts. Precise tuning of the nanocatalyst composition at constant size is achieved by a new gas-phase synthesis route based on an atmospheric-pressure microplasma. The link between the composition-dependent crystal structure of the nanocatalysts and the resulting nanotube chirality supports epitaxial models and is a step towards chiral-selective growth of SWCNTs.

  1. Department of Chemical Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Correspondence to: R. Mohan Sankaran1 e-mail: mohan@case.edu


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