The invention relates to a chemical vapor deposition process for the continuous growth of a carbon single-wall nanotube where a carbon-containing gas composition is contacted with a porous membrane and decomposed in the presence of a catalyst to grow single-wall carbon nanotube material. A pressure differential exists across the porous membrane such that the pressure on one side of the membrane is less than that on the other side of the membrane. The single-wall carbon nanotube growth may occur predominately on the low-pressure side of the membrane or, in a different embodiment of the invention, may occur predominately in between the catalyst and the membrane. The invention also relates to an apparatus used with the carbon vapor deposition process.
The United States Government has rights in this invention under Contract No. CRD-98-076 between the United States Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a Division of the Midwest Research Institute.