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Direct synthesis of tin oxide nanotubes on microhotplates using carbon nanotubes as templates

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 January 2011

Prahalad Parthangal
Affiliation:
Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Chemistry, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742; and Chemical Science and Technology Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899
Richard E. Cavicchi*
Affiliation:
Chemical Science and Technology Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899
Douglas C. Meier
Affiliation:
Chemical Science and Technology Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899
Andrew Herzing
Affiliation:
Chemical Science and Technology Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899
Michael R. Zachariah
Affiliation:
Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Chemistry, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742; and Chemical Science and Technology Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899
*
a)Address all correspondence to this author. e-mail: rcavicchi@nist.gov
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Abstract

Tin oxide (SnO2) nanotubes have been synthesized using carbon nanotubes (CNTs) as removable templates. The entire synthesis takes place on the microscale on a micromachined hotplate, without the use of photolithography, taking advantage of the device’s built-in heater. Well-aligned multiwalled CNT forests were grown directly on microhotplates at 600 °C using a bimetallic iron/alumina composite catalyst and acetylene as precursor. Thin films of anhydrous SnO2 were then deposited onto the CNT forests through chemical vapor deposition of tin nitrate at 375 °C. The CNTs were then removed through a simple anneal process in air at temperatures above 450 °C, resulting in SnO2 nanotubes. Gas sensing measurements indicated a substantial improvement in sensitivity to trace concentrations of methanol from the SnO2 nanotubes in comparison with a SnO2 thin film. The synthesis technique is generic and may be used to create any metal oxide nanotube structure directly on microscale substrates.

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Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2011

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