Synthesis of carbon nanotubes
Among the different methods of synthesizing of carbon nanotubes,arc discharge method isone of them. detailes analysis of this method is as follows among their reaction temperature, rawmaterials ,and arrangements etc.
Arc Discharge Method :-
The arc discharge technique (Figure 1 (a)) generally involves the use of two high-puritygraphite electrodes. The anode is either pure graphite or contains metals. In the latter case, themetals are mixed with the graphite powder and introduced in a hole made in the anode center. Theelectrodes are momentarily brought into contact and an arc is struck. The synthesis is carried out atlow pressure (30-130 torr or 500 torr) in controlled atmosphere composed of inert and/or reactantgas. The distance between the electrodes is reduced until the flowing of a current (50150 A). Thetemperature in the inter-electrode zone is so high that carbon sublimes from the positive electrode(anode) that is consumed. A constant gap between the anode and cathode is maintained byadjusting the position of the anode. A plasma is formed between the electrodes. The plasma can bestabilized for a long reaction time by controlling the distance between the electrodes by means of the voltage (2540 V) control. The reaction time varies from 3060 seconds to 210 minutes.Various kinds of products are formed in different parts of the reactor:(1) large quantities of rubbery soot on the reactor walls;(2) web-like structures between the cathode and the chamber walls;(3) grey hard deposit at the end of cathode; and(4) spongy collaret around the cathodic deposit.The metals usually utilized were Fe, Ni, Co, Mo, Y either alone or in mixture. Better resultswere obtained using bimetallic catalysts. Amorphous carbon, encapsulated metal nanoparticles,polyhedral carbon are also present in the product . When no catalyst is used, only the soot and thedeposit are formed. The soot contains fullerenes while MWNTs together with graphite carbonnanoparticles are found in the carbon deposit. The inner diameter of the MWNTs varies from 1 to 3nm, the outer diameter varies in the range of 225 nm, the tube length does not exceed 1 m, andthe tubes have closed tips. When metal catalysts are co-evaporated with carbon in the DC arcdischarge, the core of the deposit contains MWNTs, metal filled MWNTs (FMWNTs), graphiticcarbon nanoparticles(GNP), metal filled graphite carbon nanoparticles (FGNP) and metalnanoparticles (MNP), while the powder-like or spongy soot contains MWNTs, FMWNTs andSWNTs.The SWNTs have closed tips, are free of catalyst and are either isolated or in bundles. Most of theSWNTs have diameters of 1.11.4 nm and are several microns long. The collarette is mainlyconstituted of SWNTs (80%), isolated or in bundles, but it is only formed in the presence of certaincatalysts. The physical and chemical factors influencing the arc discharge process are the carbonvapour concentration, the carbon vapour dispersion in inert gas, the temperature in the reactor, thecomposition of catalyst, the addition of promoters and the presence of hydrogen. These factorsaffect the nucleation and the growth of the nanotubes, their inner and outer diameters and the typeof nanotubes (SWNTs, MWNTs). The amount of carbon nanoparticles was found to diminish whenpure hydrogen was used during the reaction.
(a) Schematic representation of arc discharge apparatus.(b) Experimental arc discharge set-up in liquid N2.