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Heat Transfer during Production of Carbon Nanotubes by the Electric-arc Process

DOI: 10.1615/ICHMT.2004.IntThermSciSemin.920
pages 735-742

A.G. Ostrogorsky
Mechanical, Aeronautical and Nuclear Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering Department, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York 12180, USA

C. Marin
Mechanical, Aeronautical and Nuclear Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering Department, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York 12180, USA

Abstract

The electric-arc process is the most promising method for large scale production of single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs). The process, traditionally conducted in the horizontal configuration, yields 1.4 nm diameter SWCNTs. Recently we have modified the electric-arc process by placing the cathode above the anode and obtained a significant reduction in nanotube diameters. This configuration is advantageous, because of the favorable convective plume which caries the carbon vapor from the anode towards the relatively cold cathode side-wall (1−2 cm above the arc), where the nanotubes grow. In this paper, we present our preliminary measurements and a heat transfer model of the electric arc process. The calculations are based on the parameters our cathode-above-anode process.

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