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Direct growth of aligned carbon nanotubes on bulk metals

Nature Nanotechnology volume 1, pages 112116 (2006) | Download Citation

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Abstract

There are several advantages of growing carbon nanotubes (CNTs) directly on bulk metals, for example in the formation of robust CNT–metal contacts during growth. Usually, aligned CNTs1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 are grown either by using thin catalyst layers predeposited on substrates1,2,3,4,5,6,7 or through vapour-phase catalyst delivery7,8,9. The latter method, although flexible, is unsuitable for growing CNTs directly on metallic substrates. Here we report on the growth of aligned multiwalled CNTs on a metallic alloy, Inconel 600 (Inconel), using vapour-phase catalyst delivery. The CNTs are well anchored to the substrate and show excellent electrical contact with it. These CNT–metal structures were then used to fabricate double-layer capacitors and field-emitter devices, which demonstrated improved performance over previously designed CNT structures. Inconel coatings can also be used to grow CNTs on other metallic substrates. This finding overcomes the substrate limitation for nanotube growth which should assist the development of future CNT-related technologies.

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Acknowledgements

We acknowledge funding support received from the RPI Nanoscale Science and Engineering Initiative of the National Science Foundation under NSF Grant No. DMR-0117792 and the Interconnect Focus Center New York at RPI. S.T. thanks X. Li for helpful discussions.

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Affiliations

  1. Department of Materials Science & Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 110 Eighth Street, Troy, New York 12180, USA

    • S. Talapatra
    • , S. Kar
    • , S. K. Pal
    • , L. Ci
    • , P. Victor
    • , M. M. Shaijumon
    • , S. Kaur
    • , O. Nalamasu
    •  & P. M. Ajayan
  2. Rensselaer Nanotechnology Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 110 Eighth Street, Troy, New York 12180, USA

    • S. Talapatra
    • , R. Vajtai
    •  & P. M. Ajayan

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to S. Talapatra.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nnano.2006.56

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