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Published January 2015 | public
Journal Article Open

Morphology Engineering of Hollow Carbon Nanotube Pillars by Oxygen Plasma Treatment


Oxygen plasma treatment is introduced herein as a novel post-growth fabrication technique to engineer the macroscopic morphology of hollow carbon nanotube (CNT) pillars. Current fabrication techniques for patterned vertically-aligned CNTs only allow for the production of extruded structures with constant cross-sectional area. Oxygen plasma treatment is utilized to rectify this limitation by introducing variation to the cross-sectional area. The results presented herein demonstrate that a conical geometry can be successfully introduced by oxygen plasma treatment to a hollow cylindrical CNT pillars. Using oxygen plasma treatment, the blunt tip of a cylindrical CNT pillar can be controllably sharpened until it reaches a size reduction of more than 93%. A geometric model is presented herein to predict the morphology transformation of a hollow cylindrical CNT pillars during the oxygen plasma treatment. Three distinct phases of CNT structural and morphological evolution induced by oxygen plasma treatment are also identified. A mild CNT functionalization by oxygen adsorbates occurs in the first phase. The second phase is indicated by drastic changes in the macroscopic morphology of CNT pillars. Structural amorphization and collapse of the base of the CNT pillars take place in the final phase.

Additional Information

© 2014 Elsevier B.V. Received Date: 6 August 2014; Accepted Date: 22 September 2014; Available online 30 September 2014. This work was supported by ZCube s.r.l. The authors acknowledge the support and infrastructure provided by the Charyk Laboratory for Bio-Inspired Design, the Kavli Nanoscience Institute, the Molecular Materials Research Center of the Beckman Institute, and the Geology and Planetary Sciences Analytical Facility of the California Institute of Technology. The authors also acknowledge Prof. George Rossman for providing an access to the Raman spectrometer.

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August 20, 2023
August 20, 2023