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Preferential Growth of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes with Metallic Conductivity

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Science  02 Oct 2009:
Vol. 326, Issue 5949, pp. 116-120
DOI: 10.1126/science.1177599

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Nanotubes to Order

To exploit carbon nanotubes fully in electronic applications, one needs to be able to separate or synthesize either all semiconducting or all metallic tubes. However, unbiased synthesis conditions produce a mixture containing two-thirds semiconducting tubes and one-third metallic tubes. Harutyunyan et al. (p. 116) show that altering the carrier gas and temperature, in combination with oxidative and reductive species during the synthesis process modifies the catalyst particles during synthesis, which leads to the selective growth of metallic single-walled carbon nanotubes. Thus, the shape and morphology of the catalyst seeds can be tuned to grow carbon nanotubes of a specific chirality.

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