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See detailGrowth of carbon nanotubes on metal nanoparticles: a microscopic mechanism from ab initio molecular dynamics simulations
Raty, Jean-Yves ULg; Gygi, F.; Galli, G.

in Physical Review Letters (2005), 95(9), 0961031-09610340961034

We report on ab initio molecular dynamics simulations of the early stages of single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) growth on metal nanoparticles. Our results show that a sp2 bonded cap is formed on an ... [more ▼]

We report on ab initio molecular dynamics simulations of the early stages of single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) growth on metal nanoparticles. Our results show that a sp2 bonded cap is formed on an iron catalyst, following the diffusion of C atoms from hydrocarbon precursors on the nanoparticle surface. The weak adhesion between the cap and iron enables the graphene sheet to "float" on the curved surface, as additional C atoms covalently bonded to the catalyst "hold" the tube walls. Hence the SWCNT grows capped. At the nanoscale, we did not observe any tendency of C atoms to penetrate inside the catalyst, consistent with total energy calculations showing that alloying of Fe and C is very unlikely for 1 nm particles. Root growth was observed on Fe but not on Au, consistent with experiment [less ▲]

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