A lecturer has told me that one particular method of CNT synthesis on Si substrates makes use of aluminium across one pair of electrodes and iron across the other. The substrate and the electrodes are pumped down to a very high vacuum. The first set of electrodes pass current and the aluminium is vaporised and deposited onto the substrate. The same follows for the iron.

I understand why Fe is deposited. This is well written about.

Why is the aluminium deposited though?


It seems like a chemistry problem for the electronics market.

Role of subsurface diffusion and Ostwald ripening in catalyst formation for single-walled carbon nanotube forest growth.

... any Fe compounds spanning Fe salts, nanoparticles, and buckyferrocene could serve as catalysts for single-walled carbon nanotube (SWNT) forest growth when supported on AlO(x) and annealed in hydrogen. This observation was explained by subsurface diffusion of Fe atoms into the AlO(x) support induced by hydrogen annealing where most of the deposited Fe left the surface and the remaining Fe atoms reconfigured into small nanoparticles suitable for SWNT

enter image description here Ref: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/221736532_Role_of_Subsurface_Diffusion_and_Ostwald_Ripening_in_Catalyst_Formation_for_Single-Walled_Carbon_Nanotube_Forest_Growth

Other: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-10055-0

They still haven't figured out how to attach electrodes very well without damaging the forest.


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