IMAGING 0.4 nm SINGLE-WALLED CARBON NANOTUBES WITH ATOMIC FORCE MICROSCOPY
KIN MING HO
The discovery of the single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) with a diameter of 0.4 nm has attracted extensive attentions. In this paper we report our attempt with two methods to directly observe these SWCNTs by AFM. The first one is to deposit the SWCNTs extracted from the zeolite matrix to a flat surface for AFM observation. While one-dimensional features have been observed, the SWCNT was suspected not to adhere well to the substrate. To overcome the difficulties of weak adhesion, we attempt to expose only part of the SWCNT from the zeolite channel by cutting the zeolite crystal at an angle. This alternative method, in which the SWCNT contained zeolite crystal is polished and etched by HCl, however, did not result in a smooth enough surface and thus no one-dimensional features can be observed. The difficulties in sample preparation and possible improvements are discussed.
Single-walled carbon nanotubes, atomic force microscopy
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