Importance of diameter control on selective synthesis of semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes.


The coexistence of semiconducting and metallic single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) during synthesis is one of the major bottlenecks that prevent their broad application for the next-generation nanoelectronics. Herein, we present more understanding and demonstration of the growth of highly enriched semiconducting SWNTs (s-SWNTs) with a narrow diameter distribution. An important fact discovered in our experiments is that the selective elimination of metallic SWNTs (m-SWNTs) from the mixed arrays grown on quartz is diameter-dependent. Our method emphasizes controlling the diameter distribution of SWNTs in a narrow range where m-SWNTs can be effectively and selectively etched during growth. In order to achieve narrow diameter distribution, uniform and stable Fe-W nanoclusters were used as the catalyst precursors. About 90% of as-prepared SWNTs fall into the diameter range 2.0-3.2 nm. Electrical measurement results on individual SWNTs confirm that the selectivity of s-SWNTs is ∼95%. The present study provides an effective strategy for increasing the purity of s-SWNTs via controlling the diameter distribution of SWNTs and adjusting the etchant concentration. Furthermore, by carefully comparing the chirality distributions of Fe-W-catalyzed and Fe-catalyzed SWNTs under different water vapor concentrations, the relationship between the diameter-dependent and electronic-type-dependent etching mechanisms was investigated.





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Publication Info

Li, Jinghua, Chung-Ting Ke, Kaihui Liu, Pan Li, Sihang Liang, Gleb Finkelstein, Feng Wang, Jie Liu, et al. (2014). Importance of diameter control on selective synthesis of semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes. ACS nano, 8(8). pp. 8564–8572. 10.1021/nn503265g Retrieved from

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Gleb Finkelstein

Professor of Physics

Gleb Finkelstein is an experimentalist interested in physics of quantum nanostructures, such as Josephson junctions and quantum dots made of carbon nanotubes, graphene, and topological materials. These objects reveal a variety of interesting electronic properties that may form a basis for future quantum devices.


Jie Liu

George Barth Geller Distinguished Professor of Chemistry

Dr. Liu’s research interests are focusing on the chemistry and material science of nanoscale materials. Specific topics in his current research program include: Self-assembly of nanostructures; Preparation and chemical functionalization of single walled carbon nanotubes; Developing carbon nanotube based chemical and biological sensors; SPM based fabrication and modification of functional nanostructures.

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