Copper catalyzed growth of hexagonal boron nitride nanotubes on a tungsten substrate
The synthesis of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) was a revolutionary step in the field of nanotechnology. Being structurally analogous to CNTs, boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs) are also of high interest, specifically for their high mechanical strength and chemical resistance. Compared to CNTs, the synthesis of BNNTs is quite challenging due to the issues related to maintaining stoichiometry and high temperature growth conditions. The selection of the catalyst and a suitable substrate is a major challenge for the growth of BNNTs. Here, we report a novel catalytic growth process of BNNTs, in which copper nanoparticles were chosen as the catalyst and tungsten as the substrate. This combination was found to be promising for the direct synthesis of multiwall BNNTs (MW-BNNTs) on a conducting substrate. This method opens up doors for the direct application of BNNTs in the field of electronics, optoelectronics and piezoelectric devices.