Carbon Nanotubes: Fundamental Obstacles and Perspectives for Industrial Scale Applications - Carbon Nanotubes: Fundamental Obstacles and Perspectives for Industrial Scale Applications - HRI-US
Carbon Nanotubes: Fundamental Obstacles and Perspectives for Industrial Scale Applications
Further deepening of SWNTs science and extending their unique applications depend on our ability to overcome obstacles towards understanding of their helecity formation. Currently the dominant models rely on the epitaxial relationship between the structure of a nanotube and the corresponding facet of a catalyst. Yet, it is hard to picture the mechanism that fulfills the correlation between the symmetry of growing carbon layer and the structure of the specific facet of catalyst that is continuously evolving. Our studies of nucleation of carbon nanotubes by in situ environmental TEM technique and analysis based on first-principles computations reveal that nanotube helicity originates either by carbon wall or by carbon cap structures depending on catalyst morphology (angular distribution of catalyst facets). Hence, our ability to control these scenarios will lead to the helicity selective growth of SWNTs.
Despite these problems of a fundamental nature the recent progresses in the synthesis of high quality and cheap SWNTs aroused expectations of realizing high energy density devices owing to their high surface-to-mass ratio. Practical opportunities toward their industrial scale applications, particularly as battery electrodes, as well as main obstacles and their solutions will be presented.