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Published December 29, 2005 | public
Journal Article

Iron Silicide Root Formation in Carbon Nanotubes Grown by Microwave PECVD


Aligned carbon nanotubes have been grown using microwave plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD). The carbon nanotubes are nucleated from iron catalyst particles which, during growth, remain adherent to the silicon substrates. By analysis with high-resolution electron microscopy, we observe iron silicide roots penetrating into the silicon substrate at the interface of the catalyst particles and the substrate, thus providing strong adhesion of the carbon nanotubes onto the substrate. The iron silicide roots assist in the attachment of the catalyst particles to the substrate and play a role in the evolution of the catalyst particle morphology and resulting base growth mode. Carbon nanotubes grown by microwave PECVD could exhibit superior electrical and thermal transport properties over other PECVD processes, so an understanding of the growth mechanism is important for utilization in device applications.

Additional Information

© 2005 American Chemical Society. Received: October 13, 2005; In Final Form: November 15, 2005. Publication Date (Web): December 1, 2005. We acknowledge support of the work by NSF NIRTs under grant numbers DMI-0210559 and DMI-0303790, and University of California Discovery Fund under Grant No. ele02-10133/Jin. We thank Dr. E. A. Stack for assistance with TEM analysis and the National Center for Electron Microscopy, Lawrence Berkeley Lab, which is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract # DE-AC02-05CH11231.

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