Bamboo-like carbon nanotubes (BCNTs) are special nanotubes with unique morphology and properties. Until now BCNTs could be fabricated mostly by nitrogen doping, but the use of nitrogen-containing organic compound is toxic and it makes the synthesis more complicated. Here, we present a simple method for the selective growth of bamboo-like CNTs. We employed high energy ball milling method for preparing Fe–Co–Cu (2.5–2.5–1 wt%) catalysts on Al2O3 support to synthesize bamboo-like CNTs by hydrogen-assisted catalytic chemical vapor deposition (CCVD) from acetylene at 720 °C. The effect of milling time on the growth of bamboo-like CNTs was investigated. Morphology and structure of the carbon deposits were characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), and Raman spectroscopy. The growth mechanism of the as-prepared bamboo-like CNTs, and the role of copper containing catalyst were studied. Their properties theoretically make them ideal for gas storage and can be used as matrix fillers in composite materials, where the improved electrical conductivity with the mechanical properties of the tubes are the novel factor.
HRTEM image of bamboo-like carbon nanotube (the scalebar is 50 nm).