Carbon nanotubes can be grown as forests of aligned fibers on a substrate with a catalyst coated prior to or added during synthesis. A major process interruption can initiate the growth of second and successive layers of forest on top or at the base of the existing layers which are thereby lifted up. We report on the generation of multilayer CNT forests where the first forest is generated either by catalyst coinjection (CCI) of ferrocene with hydrocarbon (xylene) or by catalyst predeposition (CPD) of iron followed with hydrocarbon (acetylene). Subsequent layers are then produced by CCI alone to give uniform (all CCI) or mixed (CPD and CCI) structures to study the distribution of the iron catalyst and CNT morphology and to determine whether the CPD forest templates or otherwise influences the growth of subsequent CCI forests. The bottom-up base growth of second and subsequent CCI forests is reaction rate controlled. CCI multilayer forests accumulate catalyst (iron) in a variety of distinct locations. A pre-existing CPD forest modifies subsequent CCI forest initiation, morphology, and catalyst distribution but does not itself accumulate catalyst or change appearance.
Hawkins, S., Poole, J. M., & Huynh, C. P. (2009). Catalyst distribution and carbon nanotube morphology in multilayer forests by mixed CVD processes. Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 113(30), 12976-12982. https://doi.org/10.1021/jp810072j