Carbon nanotubes synthesis using siliceous breccia as a catalyst source

Arun Kumar, Yulia Kostikov, Marco Zanatta, Gian Domenico Sorarù, Beate Orberger, Gilbert Daniel Nessim, Gino Mariotto

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In this work, siliceous breccia, a natural rock powder composed essentially of SiO2 α-quartz, has been employed directly as a catalyst without any chemical treatment for the synthesis of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) via chemical vapor deposition (CVD). In addition to quartz, it contains dispersed micro-inclusions of iron oxide-hydroxides, goethite or hematite, which act as catalysts to dissociate the hydrocarbon precursors and form carbon nanostructures. The catalytic performance of this powder was evaluated for C2H4 decomposition at 750 °C, with and without H2 flux. Thermal oxidation stability and carbon yield were measured by means of thermogravimetric analysis. Structural and vibrational characterization of the resulting material was carried out by environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM) and micro Raman spectroscopy. ESEM images show that the H2 addition affects the CNT diameter. We observed that the addition of H2 to the C2H4 flux effectively removes amorphous carbon leading to taller growth of nanotubes. This concept provides a highly economical way for large-scale synthesis of CNTs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107433
JournalDiamond and Related Materials
StatePublished - Aug 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank: F. Trotet, M. Kadar and K. Devaux (ERAMET-SLN, New Caledonia), A. Salaün and C. Rodriguez (ERAMET) for providing the siliceous breccia powders. This work has been developed within SOLSA project ( ), funded by the European Commission through H2020 programme (grant number SC5-11d-689868 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier B.V.


  • Carbon nanotubes
  • Chemical vapor deposition
  • Fe catalyst
  • Iron oxyhydroxides
  • Siliceous breccia


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