Nucleation of Graphene and Its Conversion to Single- Walled Carbon Nanotubes

Picher, Mattheiu, Pin Ann Lin, Jose L. Gomez-Ballesteros, Perla B. Balbuena and Renu Sharma, 2014

Image courtesy of Nanoletters


We use an environmental transmission electron microscope to record atomic-scale movies showing how carbon atoms assemble together on a catalyst nanoparticle to form a graphene sheet that progressively lifts-off to convert into a nanotube. Time-resolved observations combined with theoretical calculations confirm that some nanoparticle facets act like a vice-grip for graphene, offering anchoring sites, while other facets allow the graphene to lift-off, which is the essential step to convert into a nanotube.

Impact Statement

The investigation into reliable as-synthesized nanoparticle composition measurement and the possibility of revealing composition gradients within a nanoparticle.