Carbon nanotubes were prepared by coating a substrate with a coating solution including a suitable solvent, a soluble polymer, a metal precursor having a first metal selected from iron, nickel, cobalt, and molybdenum, and optionally a second metal selected from aluminum and magnesium, and also a binding agent that forms a complex with the first metal and a complex with the second metal. The coated substrate was exposed to a reducing atmosphere at elevated temperature, and then to a hydrocarbon in the reducing atmosphere. The result was decomposition of the polymer and formation of carbon nanotubes on the substrate. The carbon nanotubes were often in the form of an array on the substrate.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERAL RIGHTS
This invention was made with government support under Contract No. DE-AC52-06NA25396 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.