Microwave plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition growth of few-walled carbon nanotubes using catalyst derived from an iron-containing block copolymer precursor
The microwave plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (MPECVD) method is now commonly used for directional and conformal growth of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) on supporting substrates. One of the shortcomings of the current process is the lack of control of the diameter and diameter distribution of the CNTs due to difficulties in synthesizing well-dispersed catalysts. Recently, block copolymer derived catalysts have been developed which offer the potential of fine control of both the size of and the spacing between the metal clusters. In this paper we report the successful growth of CNTs with narrow diameter distribution using polystyrene-block-polyferrocenylethylmethylsilane (PS-b-PFEMS) as the catalyst precursor. The study shows that higher growth pressure leads to better CNT growth. Besides the pressure, the effects on the growth of CNTs of the growth parameters, such as temperature and precursor gas ratio, are also studied.