The formation of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) during arc discharge in aqueous solutions of Fe2(SO4)3and FeCl3was studied. The concentration of iron ions changed from zero (deionized water) to 0.25 M and the cathodic products were examined by transmission electron microscopy, Raman spectrometry, and thermal gravimetric analysis. The experimental results showed that the crystallinity of MWCNTs is improved by increasing the concentration of iron ions. Nevertheless, the process yield and overall quality of the produced CNTs were significantly affected by iron concentration in the aqueous solution. This observation suggested that there should be an optimum iron concentration at which the formation of MWCNTs is favored. As compared with the sulfate solution, a higher process yield is obtained in the presence of chloride ions in agreement with previous reports. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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