Boundary layer chemical vapour synthesis of self-organised ferromagnetically filled radial-carbon-nanotube structures.
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Boundary layer chemical vapour synthesis is a new technique that exploits random fluctuations in the viscous boundary layer between a laminar flow of pyrolysed metallocene vapour and a rough substrate to yield ferromagnetically filled radial-carbon-nanotube structures departing from a core agglomeration of spherical nanocrystals individually encapsulated by graphitic shells. The fluctuations create the thermodynamic conditions for the formation of the central agglomeration in the vapour which subsequently defines the spherically symmetric diffusion gradient that initiates the radial growth. The radial growth is driven by the supply of vapour feedstock by local diffusion gradients created by endothermic graphitic-carbon formation at the vapour-facing tips of the individual nanotubes and is halted by contact with the isothermal substrate. The radial structures are the dominant product and the reaction conditions are self-sustaining. Ferrocene pyrolysis yields three common components in the nanowire encapsulated by multiwall carbon nanotubes, Fe3C, α-Fe, and γ-Fe. Magnetic tuning in this system can be achieved through the magnetocrystalline and shape anisotropies of the encapsulated nanowire. Here we demonstrate proof that alloying of the encapsulated nanowire is an additional approach to tuning of the magnetic properties of these structures by synthesis of radial-carbon-nanotube structures with γ-FeNi encapsulated nanowires.