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1 March 2006 Nucleation and growth of single-walled carbon nanotubes in the laser ablation products
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It is argued that the SWNT formation in laser-furnace technique is a kind of a liquid phase graphitization of non-graphitic forms of carbon catalyzed by molten metal-carbon nanoparticles. The melting of catalytic nanoparticles is a decisive condition for the SWNT nucleation and growth. It takes place at temperatures far below the respective eutectic temperature of the metal-carbon alloy and results from the enhanced dissolution of amorphous carbon in the metal nanoparticles. The acceleration of carbon diffusion in liquefied catalyst particles at one hand, and the competitive reduction of the free energy difference between the initial and the final carbon phases with temperature at the other hand can qualitatively explain the temperature dependencies of the SWNT yield and the observed SWNT growth rates. The results are summarized in the solid-liquid-solid model of the SWNT growth which is also applicable to the other physical and chemical methods of the SWNT synthesis.
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Andre Gorbunoff and Oliver Jost "Nucleation and growth of single-walled carbon nanotubes in the laser ablation products", Proc. SPIE 6106, Photon Processing in Microelectronics and Photonics V, 610619 (1 March 2006);

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