Since the discovery of carbon nanotubes (CNT), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) has been the most important tool in their investigation. It is possible to use electron irradiation in a TEM to construct a single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) from an amorphous carbon film. Here we show that such a synthesis method creates a large number of carbon ad-atoms, which after some critical amount of radiation act to restore the system by reconstructing the carbon film. The behavior of the ad-atoms can be controlled by adjusting the current density in the microscope, suggesting that carbon nanomaterials can be tailored by electron irradiation.
- Carbon nanotubes
- Electron irradiation
- Transmission electron microscopy
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