Explaining Bamboo-Like Carbon Fiber Growth Mechanism: Catalyst Shape Adjustments above Tammann Temperature

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Abstract

The mechanism of bamboo-like growth behavior of carbon fibers is discussed. We propose that there is a requirement to have this type of growth: operation above the Tammann temperature of the catalyst (defined as half of the melting point). The metal nanoparticle shape can then change during reaction (sintering-like behavior) facilitating carbon nanotube (CNT) growth, adjusting geometry. Using metal nanoparticles with a diameter below 20 nm, some reduction of the melting point (mp) and Tammann temperature (T-Ta) is observed. Fick's laws still apply at nano scale. In that range, distances are short and so bulk diffusion of carbon (C) atoms through metal nanoparticles is quick. Growth occurs under catalytic and hybrid carbon formation routes. Better knowledge of the mechanism is an important basis to optimize growth rates and the shape of bamboo-like C fibers. Bamboo-like growth, occurring under pyrolytic carbon formation, is excluded: the nano-catalyst surface in contact with the gas gets quickly "poisoned", covered by graphene layers. The bamboo-like growth of boron nitride (BN) nanotubes is also briefly discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number18
Number of pages14
JournalC — Journal of Carbon Research
Volume6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

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