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Pure Appl. Chem., 2010, Vol. 82, No. 6, pp. 1259-1272

Published online 2010-04-20

Synthesis of carbon nanotubes by plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition in an atmospheric-pressure microwave torch

Lenka Zajíčková1*, Ondrej Jašek1, Marek Eliáš1, Petr Synek1, Lukáš Lazar1, Oldřich Schneeweiss2 and Renáta Hanzlíková3

1 Department of Physical Electronics, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Kotlářská 2, 611 37 Brno, Czech Republic
2 Institute of Physics of Materials, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Žižkova 22, 616 62 Brno, Czech Republic
3 Institute of Scientific Instruments, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Královopolská 147, 612 64 Brno, Czech Republic

Abstract: There are many different techniques for the synthesis of carbon nanotubes (CNTs), and plasma technologies experience a significant competitor in thermal chemical vapor deposition (CVD) processes. A particular process is, therefore, selected according to the specific requirements of an application, which clearly differ for the development of composites as compared to nanoelectronics, field emission, displays, sensors, and the like. This paper discusses the method for the synthesis of CNTs using an atmospheric-pressure microwave (MW) torch. It was successfully applied in the fast deposition of multiwalled nanotubes (MWNTs) on a substrate without the necessity of any vacuum or heating equipment. Dense straight-standing nanotubes were prepared on Si substrates with and also without barrier SiOx layer. Therefore, it was possible to produce CNTs directly on conductive Si and to use them as an electron-emitting electrode of the gas pressure sensor. The CNTs grown in MW torch were also used to create a gas sensor based on the changes of electrical resistance measured between two planar electrodes connected by the CNTs.