Structural and chemical evolution of single-wall carbon nanotubes under atomic and molecular deuterium interaction

W.F. Lisowski, Enrico G. Keim, A.H.J. van den Berg, M.A. Smithers

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    The interaction of atomic (D) and molecular (D2) deuterium, as present in a (D + D2) gas mixture, with single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) has been studied by means of a combination of scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The SWNT samples were exposed to the gas mixture, produced by thermal dissociation of D2 on a hot W filament, its temperature, TW, being kept at 1020 and 1550 K for a deuterium pressure of 0.6 and 60 Pa, respectively. Prolonged interaction of the low-pressure (D + D2) gas mixture produced at TW = 1020 K leads to a conglomeration of the SWNT bundles into larger diameter ropes of square and triangular cross-section, covered by nano-aggregates of graphite material. Both the coalescence of single SWNTs and a massive reconstruction of bundles of SWNTs into a “coral reef‿-like structure were found to occur after prolonged exposure of SWNTs to the high-pressure (D + D2) gas mixture produced at TW = 1550 K. This structure is formed by the encapsulated Fe nanoparticles and deuterocarbon-like species appearing as a result of the deuterium interaction with the SWNT bundles accompanied by partial erosion of the SWNT material. The XPS valence-band spectra disclose electronic features characteristic for a hydrogen-plasma modified multi-wall carbon nanotube (MWNT)-like structure as a result of an intensive (D + D2) induced transformation of the SWNTs into the “coral reef‿-like structure.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1073-1083
    Number of pages11
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


    • X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy
    • Scanning Electron Microscopy
    • Transmission electron microscopy
    • Microstruct
    • METIS-229809
    • IR-76464
    • Carbon nanotubes
    • EWI-19861


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