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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2015, Article ID 453725, 9 pages
Research Article

Synthesis of Nitrogen-Doped Carbon Nanotubes Using Injection-Vertical Chemical Vapor Deposition: Effects of Synthesis Parameters on the Nitrogen Content

1Center of Excellence in Nanotechnology, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia
2Qatar Environment & Energy Research Institute (QEERI), Qatar Foundation, Doha, Qatar
3College of Science and Engineering, Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), Qatar Foundation, Doha, Qatar
4Department of Mechanical Engineering, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia
5Department of Chemistry, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
6Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Hong Kong

Received 1 September 2015; Accepted 3 November 2015

Academic Editor: Hassan Karimi-Maleh

Copyright © 2015 Abdouelilah Hachimi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Nitrogen-doped CNTs (N-CNTs) were synthesized using an injection-vertical chemical vapor deposition (IV-CVD) reactor. This type of reactor is quite useful for the continuous mass production of CNTs. In this work, the optimum deposition conditions for maximizing the incorporation of nitrogen were identified. Ferrocene served as the source of the Fe catalyst and was dissolved in acetonitrile, which served as both the hydrocarbon and nitrogen sources. Different concentrations of ferrocene in acetonitrile were introduced into the top of a vertically aligned reactor at a constant flow rate with hydrogen serving as the carrier. The effects of hydrogen flow rate, growth temperature, and catalyst loading (Fe from the ferrocene) on the microstructure, elemental composition, and yield of N-CNTs were investigated. The N-CNTs possessed a bamboo-like microstructure with a nitrogen doping level as high as 14 at.% when using 2.5 to 5 mg/mL of the ferrocene/acetonitrile mixture at 800°C under a 1000 sccm flow of hydrogen. A production rate of 100 mg/h was achieved under the optimized synthesis conditions.