We report the controlled formation and characterization of het- erojunctions between carbon nanotubes and different metal nanocrystals (Fe, Co, Ni, and FeCo). The heterojunctions are formed from metal-filled multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) via intense electron beam irradiation at temperatures in the range of 450700 °C and observed in situ in a transmission electron microscope. Under irradiation, the segregation of metal and carbon atoms occurs, leading to the formation of heterojunctions between metal and graphite. Metallic conductivity of the metal-nanotube junctions was found by using in situ transport measurements in an electron microscope. Density functional calculations show that these structures are mechanically strong, the bonding at the interface is covalent, and the electronic states at and around the Fermi level are delocalized across the entire system. These properties are essential for the application of such heterojunctions as contacts in electronic devices and vital for the fabrication of robust nanotube-metal composite materials.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Mar 24 2009|
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