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Another type of nanotube, a how-to guide to making bamboo-structured carbon nanotubes

Synthesis of bamboo-structured carbon nanotubes on MgO supported bimetallic Cu-Mo catalysts

Nanotechnology is area if science that has recently captured the attention of people all around the world. At the heart of the nanotechnology revolution are carbon nanotubes, amazing materials with astonishing properties. They have applications in most fields, with new possibilities emerging regularly.

Carbon nanotubes are not as straightforward as many believe them to be. Of course there are the simple single walled carbon nanotubes and the more complex multi walled carbon nanotubes, but there are also carbon nanotubes in a number of other forms. By altering reaction conditions, carbon nanotubes also exist as carbon cages, carbon nanohorns and carbon nanotubes with a structure reminiscent of bamboo.

Research work has just been released that provides a detailed analysis of the procedure for synthesising bamboo structured carbon nanotubes (BCNTs). The work by Zhonglai Li, Hongzhe Zhang, Joe Tobin, Michael A. Morris, Jieshan Qiu, Gary Attard and Justin D. Holmes from University College Cork, Dalian University of Technology and Cardiff University has been published in a special edition of the open access journal, AZoJono*.

This special edition of AZoJono features a number of papers from DESYGN-IT, the project seeking to secure Europe as the international scientific leader in the design, synthesis, growth, characterisation and application of nanotubes, nanowires and nanotube arrays for industrial technology.

The present work looked at bamboo-structured carbon nanotubes with a narrow diameter distribution synthesized on bimetallic copper-molybdenum catalysts. Findings included the catalytic nanoparticles playing a key role in the synthesis of the nanotubes as well as acting as nucleation seeds for growth. Raman and thermal gravimetric analysis results showed that the quality of the BCNTs was dependent on the amount of copper present in the catalyst. These results challenge accepted wisdom that significant yields of CNTs can only be formed from catalytic CVD routes if first row or mid-row transition elements are used as catalysts.

The article is available to view in its entirety on AZoJono at

Ian Birkby | EurekAlert!
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