Carbon Embryo Originated Chirality Preference in Carbon Nanotubes

Carbon Embryo Originated Chirality Preference in Carbon Nanotubes



‚ÄčThe origin of single wall carbon nanotube chirality includes a fundamental understanding on the
formation mechanism of tubular carbon topology. Elucidation of this mechanism is key for
realizing the untapped potential of nanotubes, since nanotube chirality governs its physical
properties. More than two decades of studies have revealed the essential contributions of a catalyst
properties in chirality abundance of grown nanotubes. As a result, chirality preference origination
by catalyst structure via an epitaxial relationship emerges as a dominant mechanism. Our research
reveals that carbon structure itself can originate preference towards specific chiral angles in
nanotubes: we decouple the influence of catalyst properties on the abundance of grown tube
chiralities by exploitation of liquid catalysts. We found that the tubes with exactly same diameter
but different chiralities, grown on the isotropic surface of a liquid catalyst, can have up to eightfold
abundance difference. We explain the results based on nucleation probabilities of carbon embryos
within the nucleation kinetics theory. This finding could lead to the comprehensive theory of
chirality formation. In practice, our finding offers a new prospect for chirality-preferable synthesis
of carbon nanotubes by the exploitation of catalyst droplets.



International Forum on Graphene, Shenzhen, China
12 Apr 2017
Avetik Harutyunyan