Christopher M Rouleau

Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Florida, United States

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Publications (119)537.33 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Microelectrodes modified with carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are useful for the detection of neurotransmitters because the CNTs enhance sensitivity and have electrocatalytic effects. CNTs can be grown on carbon fiber microelectrodes (CFMEs) but the intrinsic electrochemical activity of carbon fibers makes evaluating the effect of CNT enhancement difficult. Metal wires are highly conductive and many metals have no intrinsic electrochemical activity for dopamine so we investigated CNTs grown on metal wires as microelectrodes for neurotransmitter detection. In this work, we successfully grew CNTs on niobium substrates for the first time. Instead of planar metal surface, metal wires with a diameter of only 25 µm were used as CNT substrates, which have potential for in tissue applications due to their minimal tissue damage and high spatial resolution. Scanning electron microscopy shows that aligned CNTs are grown on metal wires after chemical vapor deposition. Using fast-scan cyclic voltammetry, CNT-coated niobium (CNT-Nb) microelectrodes exhibit higher sensitivity and lower ΔEp value compared to CNTs grown on carbon fibers or other metal wires. The limit of detection for dopamine at CNT-Nb microelectrodes is 11 ± 1 nM, which is approximately two fold lower than bare CFMEs. Adsorption processes were modeled with a Langmuir isotherm and detection of other neurochemicals was also characterized, including ascorbic acid, DOPAC, serotonin, adenosine, and histamine. CNT-Nb microelectrodes were used to monitor stimulated dopamine release in anesthetized rats with high sensitivity. This study demonstrates that CNT-grown metal microelectrodes, especially CNTs grown on Nb microelectrodes, are useful for monitoring neurotransmitters.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Analytical Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: Finite range ferromagnetism and antiferromagnetism in two-dimensional (2D) systems within an isotropic Heisenberg model at non-zero temperature were originally proposed to be impossible. However, recent theoretical studies using an Ising model have shown that 2D magnetic crystals can exhibit magnetism. Experimental verification of existing 2D magnetic crystals in this system has remained exploratory. In this work we exfoliated CrSiTe3, a bulk ferromagnetic semiconductor, to mono- and few-layer 2D crystals onto a Si/SiO2 substrate. Raman spectra indicate good stability and high quality of the exfoliated flakes, consistent with the computed phonon spectra of 2D CrSiTe3, giving strong evidence for the existence of 2D CrSiTe3 crystals. When the thickness of the CrSiTe3 crystals is reduced to a few layers, we observed a clear change in resistivity at 80–120 K, consistent with theoretical calculations of the Curie temperature (Tc) of ∼80 K for the magnetic ordering of 2D CrSiTe3 crystals. The ferromagnetic mono- and few-layer 2D CrSiTe3 indicated here should enable numerous applications in nano-spintronics.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Journal of Materials Chemistry C
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    ABSTRACT: A two-step solution processing approach has been established to grow void-free perovskite films for low-cost high-performance planar heterojunction photovoltaic devices. A high-temperature thermal annealing treatment was applied to drive the diffusion of CH3 NH3 I precursor molecules into a compact PbI2 layer to form perovskite films. However, thermal annealing for extended periods led to degraded device performance owing to the defects generated by decomposition of perovskite into PbI2 . A controllable layer-by-layer spin-coating method was used to grow "bilayer" CH3 NH3 I/PbI2 films, and then drive the interdiffusion between PbI2 and CH3 NH3 I layers by a simple air exposure at room temperature for making well-oriented, highly crystalline perovskite films without thermal annealing. This high degree of crystallinity resulted in a carrier diffusion length of ca. 800 nm and a high device efficiency of 15.6 %, which is comparable to values reported for thermally annealed perovskite films.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Angewandte Chemie International Edition
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    ABSTRACT: Ultrafast pump-probe spectroscopy of two-dimensional tungsten disulfide monolayers (2DWS2) grown on sapphire substrates revealed two transient absorption spectral peaks that are attributed to distinct negative trions at ∼2.02eV (T1) and ∼1.98eV (T2). The dynamics measurements indicate that trion formation by the probe is enabled by photodoped 2D WS2 crystals with electrons remaining after trapping of holes from excitons or free electron-hole pairs at defect sites in the crystal or on the substrate. Dynamics of the characteristic absorption bands of excitons XA and XB at ∼2.03 and ∼2.40eV, respectively, were separately monitored and compared to the photoinduced absorption features. Selective excitation of the lowest exciton level XA using λpump<2.4eV forms only trion T1, implying that the electron remaining from dissociation of exciton XA is involved in the creation of this trion with a binding energy ∼10meV with respect to XA. The absorption peak corresponding to trion T2 appears when λpump<2.4eV, which is just sufficient to excite exciton XB. The dynamics of trion T2 formation are found to correlate with the disappearance of the bleach of the XB exciton, indicating the involvement of holes participating in the bleach dynamics of exciton XB. Static electrical-doping photoabsorption measurements confirm the presence of an induced absorption peak similar to that of T2. Since the proposed trion formation process here involves exciton dissociation through hole trapping by defects in the 2D crystal or substrate, this discovery highlights the strong role of defects in defining optical and electrical properties of 2D metal chalcogenides, which is relevant to a broad spectrum of basic science and technological applications.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Physical Review B
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    ABSTRACT: The remarkable properties of black TiO2 are due to its disordered surface shell surrounding a crystalline core. However, the chemical composition and the atomic and electronic structure of the disordered shell and its relationship to the core remain poorly understood. Using advanced transmission electron microscopy (TEM) methods, we found that the outermost layer of black TiO2 nanoparticles consists of a disordered Ti2O3 shell. The measurements show a transition region that connects the disordered Ti2O3 shell to the perfect rutile core consisting first of four to five monolayers of defective rutile, containing clearly visible Ti interstitial atoms, followed by an ordered reconstruction layer of Ti interstitial atoms. Our data suggest that this reconstructed layer presents a template on which the disordered Ti2O3 layers form by interstitial diffusion of Ti ions. In contrast to recent reports that attribute TiO2 bandgap narrowing to the synergistic action of oxygen vacancies and surface disorder of non-specific origin, our results point to Ti2O3that is a narrow bandgap semiconductor. As a stoichiometric compound of the lower oxidation state Ti(3+) it is expected to be a more robust atomic structure than oxygen deficient TiO2 for preserving and stabilizing Ti(3+) surface species that are the key to the enhanced photocatalytic activity of black TiO2.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · ACS Nano
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    ABSTRACT: Two-dimensional (2D) van der Waals (vdW) heterostructures are a family of artificially-structured materials that promise tunable optoelectronic properties for devices with enhanced functionalities. Compared to stamping, direct epitaxy of vdW heterostructures is ideal for clean interlayer interfaces and scalable device fabrication. Here, we explore the synthesis and preferred orientations of 2D GaSe atomic layers on graphene (Gr) by vdW epitaxy. Guided by the wrinkles and grain boundaries on graphene, GaSe nuclei form that share a predominant lattice orientation. Due to vdW epitaxial growth many nuclei grow as perfectly aligned crystals and coalesce to form large (tens of microns), single-crystal flakes. Through theoretical investigations of interlayer energetics, and measurements of preferred orientations by atomic-resolution STEM and electron diffraction, a 10.9° interlayer rotation of the GaSe lattice with respect to the underlying graphene is found to be the most energetically preferred vdW heterostructure with the largest binding energy and the longest-range ordering. These GaSe/Gr vdW heterostructures exhibit an enhanced Raman E21g band of monolayer GaSe along with highly-quenched photoluminescence due to strong charge transfer. Despite the very large lattice mismatch of GaSe/Gr through vdW epitaxy, the predominant orientation control and convergent formation of large single-crystal flakes demonstrated here is promising for the scalable synthesis of large-area vdW heterostructures for the development of new optical and optoelectronic devices.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · ACS Nano
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    ABSTRACT: The formation of semiconductor heterojunctions and their high-density integration are foundations of modern electronics and optoelectronics. To enable two-dimensional crystalline semiconductors as building blocks in next-generation electronics, developing methods to deterministically form lateral heterojunctions is crucial. Here we demonstrate an approach for the formation of lithographically patterned arrays of lateral semiconducting heterojunctions within a single two-dimensional crystal. Electron beam lithography is used to pattern MoSe2 monolayer crystals with SiO2, and the exposed locations are selectively and totally converted to MoS2 using pulsed laser vaporization of sulfur to form MoSe2/MoS2 heterojunctions in predefined patterns. The junctions and conversion process are studied by Raman and photoluminescence spectroscopy, atomically resolved scanning transmission electron microscopy and device characterization. This demonstration of lateral heterojunction arrays within a monolayer crystal is an essential step for the integration of two-dimensional semiconductor building blocks with different electronic and optoelectronic properties for high-density, ultrathin devices.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · Nature Communications
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    ABSTRACT: Imperfections in organometal halide perovskite films such as grain boundaries (GBs), defects, and traps detrimentally cause significant non-radiative recombination energy loss and decrease power conversion efficiency (PCE) in solar cells. Here, a simple layer-by-layer fabrication process based on air-exposure followed by thermal annealing is reported to grow perovskite films with large, single-crystal grains and vertically-oriented GBs. The hole-transport medium Spiro-OMeTAD is then infiltrated into the GBs to form vertically-aligned bulk heterojunctions. Due to the space-charge-regions in the vicinity of GBs, the non-radiative re-combination in GBs is significantly suppressed. The GBs be-come active carrier collection channels. Thus, the internal quantum efficiencies of the devices approach 100% in the visible spectrum range. The optimized cells yield average PCE of 16.3 ± 0.9%, comparable to the best solution-processed perovskite devices, establishing them as important alternatives to growing ideal single crystal thin films in the pursuit toward theoretical maximum PCE with industrially realistic processing techniques.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Journal of the American Chemical Society
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    ABSTRACT: Realizing the commercialization of high-performance and robust perovskite solar cells urgently requires the development of economically scalable processing techniques. Here we report a high-throughput ultrasonic spray-coating (USC) process capable of fabricating perovskite film-based solar cells on glass substrates with a power conversion efficiency (PCE) as high as 13%. Perovskite films with high uniformity, crystallinity, and surface coverage are obtained in a single step. Moreover, we report USC processing on TiO2/ ITO-coated polyethylene terephthalate (PET) substrates to realize flexible perovskite solar cells with a PCE as high as 8.1% that are robust under mechanical stress. In this case, a photonic curing technique was used to achieve a highly conductive TiO2 layer on flexible PET substrates for the first time. The high device performance and reliability obtained by this combination of USC processing with optical curing appear very promising for roll-to-roll manufacturing of high-efficiency, flexible perovskite solar cells.
    No preview · Article · May 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Characterizing and controlling the interlayer orientations and stacking orders of two-dimensional (2D) bilayer crystals and van der Waals (vdW) heterostructures is crucial to optimize their electrical and optoelectronic properties. The four polymorphs of layered gallium selenide (GaSe) crystals that result from different layer stackings provide an ideal platform to study the stacking configurations in 2D bilayer crystals. Through a controllable vapor-phase deposition method, bilayer GaSe crystals were selectively grown and their two preferred 0° or 60° interlayer rotations were investigated. The commensurate stacking configurations (AA' and AB stacking) in as-grown bilayer GaSe crystals are clearly observed at the atomic scale, and the Ga-terminated edge structure was identified using scanning transmission electron microscopy. Theoretical analysis reveals that the energies of the interlayer coupling are responsible for the preferred orientations among the bilayer GaSe crystals. Bilayer GaSe 2D crystals with different twist angles were grown through a controllable vapor-phase deposition method. The commensurate stacking configurations (AA' and AB stacking) and Ga-terminated edge structure in as-synthesized bilayer crystals are clearly observed at the atomic scale for the first time. Theoretical analysis reveals that the energies of the interlayer coupling are responsible for the preferred orientations.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2015 · Angewandte Chemie International Edition
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    ABSTRACT: Characterizing and controlling the interlayer orientations and stacking orders of two-dimensional (2D) bilayer crystals and van der Waals (vdW) heterostructures is crucial to optimize their electrical and optoelectronic properties. The four polymorphs of layered gallium selenide (GaSe) crystals that result from different layer stackings provide an ideal platform to study the stacking configurations in 2D bilayer crystals. Through a controllable vapor-phase deposition method, bilayer GaSe crystals were selectively grown and their two preferred 0° or 60° interlayer rotations were investigated. The commensurate stacking configurations (AA′ and AB stacking) in as-grown bilayer GaSe crystals are clearly observed at the atomic scale, and the Ga-terminated edge structure was identified using scanning transmission electron microscopy. Theoretical analysis reveals that the energies of the interlayer coupling are responsible for the preferred orientations among the bilayer GaSe crystals.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · Angewandte Chemie
  • C. M. Rouleau · A. A. Puretzky · D. B. Geohegan
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    ABSTRACT: The slowing of Pt nanoparticles in argon background gas was characterized by Rayleigh scattering imaging using a plume of nanoparticles generated by femtosecond laser through thin film ablation of 20 nm-thick Pt films. The ablation was performed at threshold laser energy fluences for complete film removal to provide a well-defined plume consisting almost entirely of nanoparticles traveling with a narrow velocity distribution, providing a unique system to unambiguously characterize the slowing of nanoparticles during interaction with background gases. Nanoparticles of ∼200 nm diameter were found to decelerate in background Ar gas with pressures less than 50 Torr in good agreement with a linear drag model in the Epstein regime. Based on this model, the stopping distance of small nanoparticles in the plume was predicted and tested by particle collection in an off-axis geometry, and size distribution analysis by transmission electron microscopy. These results permit a basis to interpret nanoparticle propagation through background gases in laser ablation plumes that contain mixed components.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2014 · Applied Physics Letters
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    ABSTRACT: In situ optical diagnostics are used to reveal the isothermal nucleation and growth kinetics of graphene on Ni across a wide temperature range (560 °C < T < 840 °C) by chemical vapor deposition from single, sub-second pulses of acetylene. An abrupt, two-orders of magnitude change in growth times (∼100–1 s) is revealed at T = 680 °C. Above this temperature, sigmoidal kinetics are measured and attributed to autocatalytic nucleation and growth from carbon dissolved in the bulk of the Ni film. However, for T < 680 °C fast surface nucleation and growth occurring during the gas pulse appears responsible for the drastic alteration of the kinetics of subsequent dissolution-mediated growth. A simple and general kinetic model for isothermal graphene growth is developed that includes the nucleation phase and the effects of carbon solubility in metals, describes delayed nucleation, and allows the interpretation of the competition between surface- and bulk-nucleation and growth. The easily-implemented optical reflectivity diagnostics and the simple kinetic model described here allow a pathway to optimize the growth of graphene on metals with arbitrary carbon solubility.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2014 · Carbon
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    ABSTRACT: Developing methods for the facile synthesis of two-dimensional (2D) metal chalcogenides and other layered materials is crucial for emerging applications in functional devices. Controlling the stoichiometry, number of the layers, crystallite size, growth location, and areal uniformity is challenging in conventional vapor-phase synthesis. Here, we demonstrate a method to control these parameters in the growth of metal chalcogenide (GaSe) and dichalcogenide (MoSe2) 2D crystals by precisely defining the mass and location of the source materials in a confined transfer growth system. A uniform and precise amount of stoichiometric nanoparticles are first synthesized and deposited onto a substrate by pulsed laser deposition (PLD) at room temperature. This source substrate is then covered with a receiver substrate to form a confined vapor transport growth (VTG) system. By simply heating the source substrate in an inert background gas, a natural temperature gradient is formed that evaporates the confined nanoparticles to grow large, crystalline 2D nanosheets on the cooler receiver substrate, the temperature of which is controlled by the background gas pressure. Large monolayer crystalline domains (∼100 μm lateral sizes) of GaSe and MoSe2 are demonstrated, as well as continuous monolayer films through the deposition of additional precursor materials. This PLD-VTG synthesis and processing method offers a unique approach for the controlled growth of large-area metal chalcogenides with a controlled number of layers in patterned growth locations for optoelectronics and energy related applications.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · ACS Nano
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    ABSTRACT: We report sputtering measurements of anorthite-like material, taken to be representative of soils found in the lunar highlands, impacted by singly and multicharged ions representative of the solar wind. The ions investigated include protons, as well as singly and multicharged Ar ions (as proxies for the non-reactive heavy solar wind constituents), in the charge state range +1 to +9, at fixed solar-wind-relevant impact velocities of 165 and 310 km/s (0.25 keV/amu and 0.5 keV/amu). A quartz microbalance approach (QCM) for determination of total sputtering yields was used. The goal of the measurements was to determine the sputtering contribution of the heavy, multicharged minority solar wind constituents in comparison to that due to the dominant H+ fraction. The QCM results show a yield increase of a factor of about 80 for Ar+ vs H+ sputtering and an enhancement by a factor of 1.67 between Ar9+ and Ar+, which is a clear indication of a potential sputtering effect.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
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    ABSTRACT: Synthesis of functional metal chalcogenide (GaSe) nanosheet networks by stoichiometric transfer of laser-vaporized material from bulk GaSe targets is presented. Uniform coverage of interconnected, crystalline, and photoresponsive GaSe nanosheets in both in-plane and out-of-plane orientations are achieved under different ablation conditions. The propagation of the laser-vaporized material is characterized by in situ ICCD-imaging. High (1 Torr) Ar background gas pressure is found to be crucial for the stoichiometric growth of GaSe nanosheet networks. Individual 1–3 layer GaSe triangular nanosheets of ≈200 nm domain size are formed within 30 laser pulses, coalescing to form nanosheet networks in as few as 100 laser pulses. The thickness of the deposited networks increases linearly with pulse number, adding layers in a two-dimensional (2D) growth mode. GaSe nanosheet networks show p-type semiconducting characteristics with mobilities reaching as high as 0.1 cm2V−1s−1. Spectrally-resolved photoresponsivities and external quantum efficiencies range from 0.4 AW−1 and 100% at 700 nm, to 1.4 AW−1 and 600% at 240 nm, respectively. Pulsed laser deposition under these conditions appears to provide a versatile and rapid approach to stoichiometrically transfer and deposit functional networks of 2D nanosheets with digital thickness control and uniformity for a variety of applications.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · Advanced Functional Materials
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    ABSTRACT: Compared with their bulk counterparts, atomically thin two-dimensional (2D) crystals exhibit new physical properties, and have the potential to enable next-generation electronic and optoelectronic devices. However, controlled synthesis of large uniform monolayer and multi-layer 2D crystals is still challenging. Here, we report the controlled synthesis of 2D GaSe crystals on SiO2/Si substrates using a vapor phase deposition method. For the first time, uniform, large (up to ~60 μm in lateral size), single-crystalline, triangular monolayer GaSe crystals were obtained and their structure and orientation were characterized from atomic scale to micrometer scale. The size, density, shape, thickness, and uniformity of the 2D GaSe crystals were shown to be controllable by growth duration, growth region, growth temperature, and argon carrier gas flow rate. The theoretical modeling of the electronic structure and Raman spectroscopy demonstrate a direct-to-indirect bandgap transition and progressive confinement-induced bandgap shifts for 2D GaSe crystals. The 2D GaSe crystals show p-type semiconductor characteristics and high photoresponsivity (~1.7 A/W under white light illumination) comparable to exfoliated GaSe nanosheets. These 2D GaSe crystals are potentially useful for next-generation electronic and optoelectronic devices such as photodetectors and field-effect transistors.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Scientific Reports
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    ABSTRACT: We describe a two-step approach for suppressing nucleation of graphene on Cu using chemical vapor deposition. In the first step, as received Cu foils are oxidized in air at temperatures up to 500°C to remove surface impurities and to induce the regrowth of Cu grains during subsequent annealing in H2 flow at 1040°C prior to graphene growth. In the second step, transient reactant cooling is performed by using a brief Ar pulse at the onset of growth to induce collisional deactivation of the carbon growth species. The combination of these two steps results in a three orders of magnitude reduction in the graphene nucleation density, enabling the growth of millimeter-size single crystal graphene grains. A kinetic model shows that suppressing nucleation promotes a cooperative island growth mode that favors the formation of large area single crystal graphene, and it is accompanied by a roughly 3 orders of magnitude increase in the reactive sticking probability of methane compared to that in random nucleation growth.
    No preview · Article · May 2014 · ACS Nano
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    ABSTRACT: The synthesis of metal nanoparticles by ultrafast laser ablation of nanometers-thick metal films has been studied experimentally and computationally. Near-threshold backside laser ablation of 2–20 nm-thick Pt films deposited on fused silica substrates was found to produce nanoparticles with size distributions that were bimodal for the thicker films, but collapsed into a single mode distribution for the thinnest film. Time-resolved imaging of blackbody emission from the Pt nanoparticles was used to reveal the nanoparticle propagation dynamics and estimate their temperatures. The observed nanoparticle plume was compact and highly forward-directed with a well-defined collective velocity that permitted multiple rebounds with substrates to be revealed. Large-scale molecular dynamics simulations were used to understand the evolution of compressive and tensile stresses in the thicker melted liquid films that lead to their breakup and ejection of two groups of nanoparticles with different velocity and size distributions. Ultrafast laser irradiation of ultrathin (few nm) metal films avoids the splitting of the film and appears to be a method well-suited to cleanly synthesize and deposit nanoparticles from semitransparent thin film targets in highly directed beams.
    No preview · Article · May 2014 · Applied Physics Letters
  • A. A. Puretzky · D. B. Geohegan · S. Pannala · C. M. Rouleau
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    ABSTRACT: Simple kinetic models of carbon nanotube growth have been able to successfully link together many experimental parameters involved in the growth of carbon nanotubes for practical applications including the prediction of growth rates, terminal lengths, number of walls, activation energies, and their dependences on the growth environment. The implications of recent experiments utilizing in situ monitoring of carbon nanotube growth on our past kinetic model are first reviewed. Then, sub-second pulsed feedstock gas introduction is discussed to explore the nucleation and initial growth of carbon nanotubes in the context of the kinetic model. Moreover, kinetic effects in "pulsed CVD" - using repeated pulsed gas introduction to stop and restart nanotube growth - are explored to understand renucleation, the origin of alignment in nanotube arrays, and incremental growth. Time-resolved reflectivity of the surface is used to remotely understand the kinetics of nucleation and the coordinated growth of arrays. This approach demonstrates that continuous vertically aligned single wall carbon nanotubes can be grown incrementally by pulsed CVD, and that the first exposure of fresh catalyst to feedstock gas is critical to nanotubes site density required for coordinated growth. Aligned nanotube arrays (as short as 60 nm) are shown to nucleate and grow within single, sub-second gas pulses. The multiple-pulse growth experiments (> 100 pulses) show that a high fraction of nanotubes renucleate on subsequent gas pulses.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2014 · Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering