A quite wide brunch of the carbon nanotube science, including the utilization of singlewall nanotube for production of nano-electronic devices has being continuously explored even nowadays. Tuning and modifying the synthesis procedures to obtain nanotube junctions of T, Y, H or X shapes lead to inappropriate results concerning the industrial or large scale production. However, the importance and the demand for these junctions are quite large, since these may be the secondary building units of carbon nanotubes based chips or even more complex nanoelectronic devices. Recently, some novel solutions of their preparation have been published. A Taiwanese group described a method to prepare multi-junctioned carbon nanotubes on mechanically pretreated silicon surface applying chemical vapor deposition (CVD) technology using decomposition of methane at 1373 K. The nanotubes were nucleated following the lines prepared by scratching the surface with 600-grit sand paper. Contrary to the physical pretreatment of a substrate surface, chemical reactions can also be used for the preparation of carbon nanotube junctions. P.W. Chu et al. reported interconnecting reactions between functionalized carbon nanotubes . By the described method, the carboxyl groups on the wall of singlewall carbon nanotubes are converted to carbonyl chloride groups by reaction with SOCl2 at room temperature. The formed COCl groups are very reactive on the outer surface and can be reacted easily with various amines, particularly diamines resulting in the formation of amide bonding. When two functionalized carbon nanotubes react with such an amine molecule interconnection of tubes is generated. The resulted carbon nanotube junctions have been investigated by AFM.
In this presentation, we report on the results obtained on the preparation of carbon nanotube junctions applying two different procedures. The first method is similar to Chu’s one, which was mentioned above, i.e. we used functionalized multiwall carbon nanotubes and the successful interconnection of them by propylene diamine has been proven by TEM and AFM. The second method demonstrates a novel principle: catalyst material has been deposited on the outer surface of carbon nanotubes and branches of nanotubes were produced at this contact point by catalytic chemical vapor deposition (CCVD) of acetylene. The product has been characterized by TEM.
The functionalization of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) is important both for composite - to improve load transfer between CNTs and matrix - and nanoelectronic applications - to interlink individual nanotubes in a network. Oposite to earlier results, complete coverage of CNT surface with functional groups was achieved. The distribution of functional groups on the nanotube surface was investigated using STM and TEM. The influence of functional groups on the electron density of states of the nanotubes was studied with scanning tunneling spectroscopy (STS).