Synthesis of Phosporus included multiwalled carbon nanotubes by pyrolysis of sucrose
Journal of Physical Chemistry C
American Chemical Society
24554 - 24560
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Multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) were synthesized by a pyrolysis route which involves a dehydration step using phosphoric acid. The resultants were found to be mostly containing amorphous carbon with scattered MWCNTs using scanning electron and transmission electron microscopy techniques. These MWCNTs were smaller in size and limited in quantity compared to the ones synthesized using other common precursors. Energy dispersive X-ray and electron energy loss spectroscopy analysis indicated the presence of phosphorus both at the MWCNT sidewalls and in the catalyst particles encapsulated inside the MWCNTs. In addition, a comparative investigation for sulfur and phosphorus inclusion to the sidewalls of MWCNTs was carried out using density functional theory calculations. The results of the computational study showed that both phosphorus and sulfur atoms prefer to bind among themselves rather than adsorbing directly on carbon nanotubes (CNT). Furthermore, cluster calculations revealed that phosphorus atoms more likely form carbonaceous clusters which result in a decrease in the number of free carbon atoms that can be used for CNT formation. Therefore, we concluded that MWCNT growth might be hindered (promoted) in a phosphorus (sulfur) rich environment which results in needle like phosphorus containing MWCNTs.