Double-helix microstructures consisting of two parallel strands of hundreds of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) have been synthesized by chemical vapour deposition of ferrocene/toluene vapours on metal substrates. Growth of coiled carbon nanostructures with site selectivity is achieved by varying the duration of thermochemical pretreatment to deposit a layer of SiOx on the metallic substrate. Production of multibranched structures of MWCNTs converging in SiOx microstructure is also reported.
In the abstract figure, panel (a) shows a coloured micrograph of a typical double-helix coiled microstructure of MWCNTs grown on SiOx covered steel substrate. Green and blue show each of the two individual strands of MWCNTs. Panel (b) is an amplification of a SiOx microparticle (white) on the tip of the double-stranded coil (green and blue). The microparticle guides the collective growth of hundreds of MWCNTs to form the coiled structure.