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Background: Research into the field of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) has developed very rapidly since their discovery in 1991 by Iijma. This is fueled by the fact that CNT research is on the cutting edge between chemistry, physics and material science. New material properties associated with the unique hollow structure of the CNTs are e.g. in the field of magnetism, electronics and mechanical properties. However, their properties depend critically upon the synthesis route chosen. Out of many techniques used for CNT synthesis chemical vapor deposition (CVD) is one of the most promising methods for structured growth. However, the optimization of the complicated and often non-linear growth relationships is up to now done via time consuming trial-and-error strategies.
Project: We are using a template based chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process to synthesize and align CNTs. The goal is to obtain a most complete understanding (experimentally and theoretically) of how the synthesis conditions (precursor composition, CVD process parameters) affect the formation and electronic behavior, in particular the performance of CNTs as field emission sources. This goal will be achieved by a concerted research approach of four groups studying the CNT formation process using various precursor types (Schneider, Graz), identifying key molecular species by in situ spectroscopy (Ebert/Wolfrum, Heidelberg), developing a detailed reaction mechanism (Deutschmann/Warnatz, Heidelberg) and determining the field emission properties of CNTs (Müller, Wuppertal).

Co-workers: M.J. Vinod

Collaboration: V. Ebert, J. Wolfrum (PCI, Heielberg University), J.J. Schneider (University of Graz), G. Müller (University of Wuppertal)

Funding: Volkswagen-Stiftung

Further information:

  • M.S. Dresselhaus, G. Dresselhaus, Ph. Avouris (eds.), Carbon Nanotubes. Synthesis, Structure, Properties, and Applications, Topic in Applied Physics 80, Springer, 2001