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Scheme of the experimental setup (a), SEM micrograph of typical carbon nanocones (b). Panels (c)–(f) show the scheme of the process: magnetron deposition of a continuous Cu layer (c), treatment of the Cu layer in a nitrogen plasma to produce a Cu nanoparticle array (d), treatment of the Cu nanoparticle array in plasmas (e), Cu-capped carbon nanocone array (f).
SEM images of the continuous film after magnetron sputtering deposition of copper onto a Si wafer (a); carbon nanocones grown on Cu nanoparticles (top view, low magnification) (b); carbon nanocones (side view) (c). Cu catalyst particles are clearly visible at the nanocone tops. EDS spectrum (d) taken from the nanocone top (SEM image on the inset, with the cross indicating the EDS spot) proves that the nanocone is Cu-capped. Raman characterization (e) shows clear D and G peaks evidencing that the nanocone base is made of pure carbon.
TEM image of a carbon nanocone with a copper catalyst particle on the top. The nanocone features a “towerlike” shape with a massive copper top.
Tilted [(a)–(c)] and top-view [(d) and (e)] SEM images of the carbon nanocones. Groups (nests) of closely located nanocones are clearly visible. In the groups, nanocones reshape to lean to each other yet always remain clearly separated. Some representative nanocone groups are encircled.
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