The chemistry of premixed flame synthesis of carbon nanotubes using supported catalysts

Randall L. Vander Wal, Lee J. Hall, Gordon M. Berger

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


A premixed flame is used to create the reactive environment for carbon nanotube (CNT) synthesis using stainless steel mesh supporting Co as catalyst. The CNT relative growth density morphology, and internal structure are interpreted in terms of the chemical composition of the flame gases. Different flame gas compositions are produced by varying the fuel/air equivalence ratio, φ. For φ > 1.62, carbon deposition occurs too rapidly relative to reactive etching of surface carbon by species such as H2, CO2, and H2O. For φ < 1.62, the reverse trend of insufficient carbon supply relative to the rate of carbon removal again stunts CNT growth. A value of φ = 1.62 produces CNTs with the best yield, uniformity, and graphitic structure as gauged by scanning and transmission electron microscopies. Yields of up to 1% mass increase of catalyzed CNTs grown upon this catalyst-support system are measured. Initial scalability is demonstrated where CNTs can be uniformly synthesized upon catalyst-coated meshes greater than 2 cm2 in area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1079-1085
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings of the Combustion Institute
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002
Event30th International Symposium on Combustion - Chicago, IL, United States
Duration: Jul 25 2004Jul 30 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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