In Situ Synthesis of Carbon Nanotubes on Heated Scanning Probes Using Dip Pen Techniques
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Carbon nanotubes (CNT) were synthesized on heated scanning probes and under ambient conditions without requiring Chemical vapor deposition (CVD) apparatus or process gases. In this study, dip pen nanolithography (DPN) techniques were utilized for deposition of catalyst precursors on the scanning probe tips in the form of aqueous solution of metal salts--prior to the synthesis of the CNT. A layer of fullerene (C(60)) of approximately 200 nm thickness was vapor deposited on the scanning probe tip prior to the deposition of the metal catalyst. During the in situ synthesis of the CNT on the scanning probes, the temperature of the heated scanning probes reached 350-400 degrees C. Hence the scanning probes were heated in an inert atmosphere to prevent potential oxidation of the deposited fullerene layer. The synthesized CNTs were subsequently characterized using SEM and Raman spectroscopy. The Raman spectroscopy showed peaks in the Radial breathing mode (RBM), as well as the defect (D) and graphitic (G) bands. The RBM peaks indicate that the single walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) ranged in diameter from 0.9-1.5 nm. The peaks in the Raman spectra are indicative of SWCNT mixtures (metallic and semconducting) and possibly multiwalled carbon nanotube (MWCNT). Hence this process can be optimized to synthesize SWCNT of a specific chirality (metallic or semiconducting). This study differs from an earlier study reported in the literature involving synthesis of CNT on scanning probes where the process temperatures typically exceeded 700 degrees C, and resulted in synthesis of highly graphitic MWCNT (Sunden, et al., 2006).
author list (cited authors)
Gargate, R. V., & Banerjee, D.