Multizone Rapid Thermal Processing to Overcome Challenges in Carbon Nanotube Manufacturing by Chemical Vapor Deposition

NanoProduct Lab Members in Authors

Jaegeun Lee
Postdoctoral Researcher
Moataz Abdulhafez
PhD Researcher
Mostafa Bedewy
Group Leader and Principal Investigator (PI)

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Multizone Rapid Thermal Processing to Overcome Challenges in Carbon Nanotube Manufacturing by Chemical Vapor Deposition

Jaegeun Lee, Moataz Abdulhafez, and Mostafa Bedewy

Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering, Transactions of the ASME

Year
2019

Abstract

For the scalable production of commercial products based on vertically aligned carbon nanotubes (VACNTs), referred to as CNT forests, key manufacturing challenges must be overcome. In this work, we describe some of the main challenges currently facing CNT forest manufacturing, along with how we address these challenges with our custom-built rapid thermal processing chemical vapor deposition (CVD) reactor. First, the complexity of multistep processes and reaction pathways involved in CNT growth by CVD limitsthe control on CNT population growth dynamics. Importantly, gas-phase decomposition of hydrocarbons, formation of catalyst nanoparticles, and catalytic growth of CNTs are typically coupled. Here, we demonstrated a decoupled recipe with independent controlof each step. Second, significant run-to-run variations plague CNT growth by CVD. To improve growth consistency, we designed various measures to remove oxygen-containing molecules from the reactor, including air baking between runs, dynamic pumping down cycles, and low-pressure baking before growth. Third, real-time measurements during growth are needed for process monitoring. We implement in situheight kinetics via videography. The combination of approaches presented here has the potential to transform lab-scale CNT synthesis to robust manufacturing processes.


Category:   Journal Publications