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Issue 3, 2015
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Morphology – composition correlations in carbon nanotubes synthesised with nitrogen and phosphorus containing precursors

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Abstract

We have correlated the elemental composition with the structure of multi-wall carbon nanotubes synthesised with nitrogen and phosphorus containing precursors and identified two chemically distinct dominant morphologies. The first type are cone-structured tubes and the second are nanotubes with fewer walls which can accommodate N2 gas along their inner channel and contain up to ten times more nitrogen than the cone-structured nanotubes. Phosphorus was present in the catalyst particles but was not detected within the walls of either type of nanotube. Elemental analysis combined with in situ electrical measurements has allowed us to monitor the evolution of the doped nanotubes when current is passed. The N2 gas becomes bonded immediately when current flows and the gas-containing nanotubes restructure more easily than the cone-structured ones. Since the inclusion of heteroatoms in multi-wall carbon nanotubes is generally inhomogeneous, understanding the distribution of elements across the sample is an important step towards the optimization of devices including gas sensors and components in electrical applications.

Graphical abstract: Morphology – composition correlations in carbon nanotubes synthesised with nitrogen and phosphorus containing precursors

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Publication details

The article was received on 23 Sep 2014, accepted on 14 Nov 2014 and first published on 21 Nov 2014


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C4CP04272G
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2015,17, 2137-2142
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    Morphology – composition correlations in carbon nanotubes synthesised with nitrogen and phosphorus containing precursors

    R. J. Nicholls, Z. Aslam, M. C. Sarahan, A. M. Sanchez, F. Dillon, A. A. Koós, P. D. Nellist and N. Grobert, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2015, 17, 2137
    DOI: 10.1039/C4CP04272G

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