This paper presents evidence that strongly adhered carbonaceous surface impurities, intrinsic impurities that accompany multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) synthesized by arc-discharge, are a component that cannot be ignored in experiments involving single nanotubes and their interfaces with a second surface. At the interface that forms between a carbon nanotube and a graphitic surface, these impurities can significantly alter the adhesion properties of the underlying nanotube and can cause over 30% scatter in computed interaction energies, similar in magnitude to the scatter reported in experimental measurements involving individual CNTs. Also presented is high-resolution TEM evidence that commonly used purification techniques that are effective at removing larger impurity particles from as-produced arc-discharge MWCNT samples do not remove these strongly adhered carbonaceous surface impurities.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)