Multiwall CNx nanotubes, nanoonions, and amorphous nanoballs were formed by carbon DC arc evaporation in a nitrogen atmosphere. The samples were investigated by conventional and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy. We propose a fragment-by-fragment growth mechanism for the formation of the nanoparticles. Accordingly, particles and aggregates of particles form in the vacuum ambient by the collisions between atomic species and small fragments. This growth model is supported by the discontinuous inner shells and disordered surface layers composed from graphene fragments. Image simulations confirm the detectability of dangling and back-folding surface layers in the experimental images. Further, the simulated images also confirm that the growth of nanoonions starts from a single fullerene-like seed. The amorphous nanoballs form when ordering of the building blocks during growth is hindered by the cross-linking nitrogen bonds.
- CN fragments
- Image simulation
- Transmission electron microscopy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medical Laboratory Technology