Nano Archive

Controlling thin film structure for the dewetting of catalyst nanoparticle arrays for subsequent carbon nanofiber growth

Randolph, S. J. and Fowlkes, J. D. and Melechko, A. V. and Klein, K. L. and Meyer, H. M. and Simpson, M. L. and Rack, P. D. (2007) Controlling thin film structure for the dewetting of catalyst nanoparticle arrays for subsequent carbon nanofiber growth. NANOTECHNOLOGY, 18 (46).

Full text is not hosted in this archive but may be available via the Official URL, or by requesting a copy from the corresponding author.

Official URL:


Vertically aligned carbon nanofiber (CNF) growth is a catalytic chemical vapor deposition process in which structure and functionality is controlled by the plasma conditions and the properties of the catalyst nanoparticles that template the fiber growth. We have found that the resultant catalyst nanoparticle network that forms by the dewetting of a continuous catalyst thin film is dependent on the initial properties of the thin film. Here we report the ability to tailor the crystallographic texture and composition of the nickel catalyst film and subsequently the nanoparticle template by varying the rf magnetron sputter deposition conditions. After sputtering the Ni catalyst thin films, the films are heated and exposed to an ammonia dc plasma, to chemically reduce the native oxide on the films and induce dewetting of the film to form nanoparticles. Subsequent nanoparticle treatment in an acetylene plasma at high substrate temperature results in CNF growth. Evidence is presented that the texture and composition of the nickel thin film has a significant impact on the structure and composition of the formed nanoparticle, as well as the resultant CNF morphology. Nickel films with a preferred (111) or (100) texture were produced and conditions favoring interfacial silicidation reactions were identified and investigated. Both compositional and structural analysis of the films and nanoparticles indicate that the properties of the as-deposited Ni catalyst film influences the subsequent nanoparticle formation and ultimately the catalytic growth of the carbon nanofibers.

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Material Science > Nanofabrication processes and tools
Material Science > Nanostructured materials
ID Code:3550
Deposited By:Farnush Anwar
Deposited On:16 Jan 2009 13:10
Last Modified:16 Jan 2009 13:10

Repository Staff Only: item control page