Effects of synthesis parameters on carbon nanotubes manufactured by template-based chemical vapor deposition

Template-based chemical vapor deposition is an efficient one step process to synthesize carbon nanotubes (CNTs) for a wide range of applications. In this process, the choice of template dictates certain physical features of the CNT, such as length and outer diameter, while the process itself affects other features, such as tube wall thickness, carbon deposition rate and carbon morphology. Although it is generally understood that the process affects important CNT properties, little is known about how parameters affect synthesized CNTs. In this report, a systematic parametric study was conducted to determine how three key process parameters (deposition time, temperature, and gas flow rate) affect overall carbon mass deposition rate and CNT wall thickness and morphology. The findings show that process parameters can be independently utilized to produce CNTs with similar or differing cross-sectional dimensions and other useful features, each with distinct advantages.