Frontiers of Chemical Science and Engineering
The role of ions in plasma catalytic carbon nanotube growth: A review
Research Group PLASMANT, Department of Chemistry, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610 Wilrijk-Antwerp, Belgium
While it is well-known that the plasma-enhanced catalytic chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) offers a number of advantages over thermal CVD, the influence of the various individual contributing factors is not well understood. Especially the role of ions is unclear, since ions in plasmas are generally associated with sputtering rather than with growing a material. Even so, various studies have demonstrated the beneficial effects of ion bombardment during the growth of CNTs. This review looks at the role of the ions in plasma-enhanced CNT growth as deduced from both experimental and simulation studies. Specific attention is paid to the beneficial effects of ion bombardment. Based on the available literature, it can be concluded that ions can be either beneficial or detrimental for carbon nanotube growth, depending on the exact conditions and the control over the growth process.