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Apparatus and Methods for Synthesizing Vertically Aligned Carbon Nanotubes

Technology Opportunity

Florida International University (FIU) is pursuing a business partner interested in developing and commercializing Apparatus and Method for Synthesizing Vertically Aligned Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs).

Due to their unique physical structures, including one dimensionality, high surface area, high aspect ratio, and exceptional electronic, mechanical and thermal properties, CNTs have shown potential for a number of different applications. Plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) is used to synthesize vertically aligned CNT (VACNT) arrays at lower temperatures. However, many PECVD techniques are complex, expensive, and limited to research laboratory scale, which make them unsuitable for the large-scale production. There is also the possibility of having a weak attachment of catalyst nanoparticles to the substrate, which helps cause degradation of VACNT composites over time. Hence, for the applications like field emission, electrodes and sensors, it is desirable to grow VACNTs directly on a conducting catalytic substrate without addition of an external catalyst layer.

FIU inventors have developed methods and apparatuses for the synthesis of vertically aligned carbon nanotube (VACNT) arrays directly on a catalytic conductive substrate without the addition of an external metallic catalyst layer and without any pretreatment to the substrate surface by using a plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) method. The VACNTs have uniform length, good alignment, and uniform coverage over the catalytic conductive substrate surface.


  • Synthesize of vertically aligned carbon nanotube array on metal substrate such as stainless steel. The vertically aligned carbon nanotube array will have great potential applications in nano-electronic devices and energy devices.


  • Does not require pretreatment of the substrate surface or external metallic catalyst layer
  • Provides aligned carbon nanotube arrays with high electrical conductivity and strong mechanical strength
  • The furnace heats the reaction chamber from outside and therefore helps:
    • avoid any possible reaction or corrosion of the furnace with the reaction gases
    • achieve more efficient heating process
Research Terms: Life Sciences > Biology
Physical Sciences > Chemistry
Keywords: Biosciences/Chemistry;
Technology Information URL:
University: Florida International University
Tech Transfer URL:

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