Mechanism for the growth of multiwalled carbon-nanotubes from carbon black

D. B. Buchholz, S. P. Doherty, R. P.H. Chang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Multiwalled carbon-nanotubes have been grown from carbon black by solid-state transformation at the anode of a modified high-temperature arc-furnace without a catalyst. A mechanism for the solid-state transformation of carbon black into nanotubes is proposed. The migration of pentagon and heptagon defects present in carbon black to regions of high tensile-stress is key to the growth mechanism. The growth process can be broken into two stages. The basic mechanism for both stages is the same; only the source of the tensile stress that drives the nanotube growth differs. In the initial stage of growth the necks between carbon-black particles are lengthened into short nanotubes by thermal forces. Electrostatic forces present in the plasma of the high-temperature arc-furnace drive the subsequent extension of the short nanotubes to multiple-micron lengths.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1625-1634
Number of pages10
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2003


  • A. Carbon black, Carbon nanotubes
  • B. Arc discharge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)


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