Direct growth of vertically aligned carbon nanotubes on planar carbon substrates by thermal chemical vapour deposition
Uniform, vertically aligned multiwalled carbon nanotube arrays (VACNTs) were grown on glassy carbon-like thin films by thermal chemical vapour deposition (CVD). Thin (5 nm) aluminum and iron catalyst layers were pre-deposited by evaporation on the carbon substrates and VACNTs were grown at 750 °C by water-assisted CVD using ethylene as the carbon source. The aluminum layer was shown to be essential for aligned nanotube growth. VACNT arrays adhered strongly to the carbon film with low contact resistance between the VACNTs and the substrate. The VACNT arrays grown directly on the planar conducting carbon substrate have attractive properties for use as electrodes. Excellent voltammetric characteristics are demonstrated after insulating the arrays with a dielectric material.