Direct observations of the growth of carbon nanotubes using in situ transmission electron microscopy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Nucleation and growth of carbon nanotubes, formed during chemical vapor deposition, was observed using an environmental transmission electron microscope (ETEM). Carbon nanotubes formed readily when acetylene (C2H 2) was leaked into the sample area of the ETEM containing Ni/SiO 2 catalyst at 470-700° C. Carbon nanotubes were observed to nucleate and grow in a sequential manner, i.e. one or two tubes nucleating and growing before new tubes were nucleated. Straight single wall tubes were observed to grow with no catalyst at the tip at 475° C at very low C 2H2 gas pressures (< 10 mTorr). We observe that the growth rate and growth mechanism are directlycontrolled by the temperature and pressure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)460-463
Number of pages4
Journale-Journal of Surface Science and Nanotechnology
StatePublished - May 2 2006



  • Carbon nanotubes
  • Environmental transmission electron microscope

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

Cite this