The production of carbon nanofibers and thin films on palladium catalysts from ethylene-oxygen mixtures

Mark A. Atwater, Jonathan Phillips*, Stephen K. Doorn, Claudia C. Luhrs, Y. Fernández, J. A. Menéndez, Zayd C. Leseman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The characteristics of carbonaceous materials deposited in fuel rich ethylene-oxygen mixtures on three types of palladium: foil, sputtered film, and nanopowder, are reported. It was found that the form of palladium has a dramatic influence on the morphology of the deposited carbon. In particular, on sputtered film and powder, tight 'weaves' of sub-micron filaments formed quickly. In contrast, on foils under identical conditions, the dominant morphology is carbon thin films with basal planes oriented parallel to the substrate surface. Temperature, gas flow rate, reactant flow ratio (C2H4:O2), and residence time (position) were found to influence both growth rate and type for all three forms of Pd. X-ray diffraction, high resolution transmission electron microscopy, temperature-programmed oxidation, and Raman spectroscopy were used to assess the crystallinity of the as-deposited carbon, and it was determined that transmission electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction were the most reliable methods for determining crystallinity. The dependence of growth on reactor position, and the fact that no growth was observed in the absence of oxygen support the postulate that the carbon deposition proceeds by combustion generated radical species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2269-2280
Number of pages12
Issue number9
Publication statusPrint publication - Aug 2009
Externally publishedYes

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