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Platelet-like catalyst design for high yield production of multi-walled carbon nanotubes by catalytic chemical vapour deposition

AuthorsNúñez, Jesús David; Maser, Wolfgang K. ; Mayoral Gastón, María del Carmen ; Andrés Gimeno, José Manuel ; Benito, Ana M.
KeywordsCarbon nanotubes
Issue Date13-Feb-2011
CitationCarbon 49(7) : 2483-2491 (2011)
AbstractWe investigated the effect of catalyst design on the synthesis of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) by chemical vapor deposition (CVD). A set of highly active supported sol–gel Co–Mo/MgO and Ni–Mo/MgO catalysts was prepared systematically modifying the calcination temperature. First, the evolution of catalysts’ crystallographic phases and their morphology were studied by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Raman spectroscopy, scanning electron (SEM) and transmission electron (TEM) microscopy. Second, the catalysts were used for the CVD growth of MWCNTs. The resulting materials were analysed by SEM and TEM, Raman and XRD to establish a relation between catalyst design and MWCNT yield. We show that our catalyst synthesis route leads to the formation of laminar non-porous catalyst systems, which at a calcination temperature of 800 °C stabilize in a crystallographic phase of MexMg1−xMoO4 (Me = Co or Ni). We give evidence that increased MWCNT yields of more than 3000 wt.% with respect to the catalysts are directly related to the aforementioned crystallographic phase. Finally, we propose a growth model based on the continuous exfoliation of platelet-like catalyst systems. This consistently explains the high catalytic activity towards MWCNT production using a non-porous catalyst. Our findings provide important insights for catalyst design strategies towards large-scale MWCNT production.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.carbon.2011.02.018
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