Temperature and carbon source effects on methane-air flame synthesis of CNTs
We have conducted experimental and numerical studies on flame synthesis of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to investigate the effects of three key parameters – selective catalyst, temperature and available carbon sources – on CNT growth. Two different substrates were used to synthesize CNTs: Ni-alloy wire substrates to obtain curved and entangled CNTs and Si-substrates with porous anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) nanotemplates to grow well-aligned, self-assembled and size-controllable CNTs, each using two different types of laminar flames, co-flow and counter-flow methane–air diffusion flames. An appropriate temperature range in the synthesis region is essential for CNTs to grow on the substrates. Possible carbon sources for CNT growth were found to be the major species CO and those intermediate species C2H2, C2H4, C2H6, and methyl radical CH3. The major species H2, CO2 and H2O in the synthesis region are expected to activate the catalyst and help to promote catalyst reaction.