The understanding of the interaction between Au and carbon nanotubes (CNTs) is very important since Au/CNTs composites have wide applications in many fields. In this study, we investigated the dispersion of Au nanoparticles on the CNTs by transmission electron microscopy and the bonding mechanism between Au clusters and CNTs by means of density functional theory calculations. Both experimental and theoretical studies show that point defects are the anchoring sites of Au nanoparticles. The mechanisms of enhanced bond between Au and CNTs via the point defects are explained by the analysis of density of states, charge transfer and frontier molecular orbitals. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Physica E-low-dimensional Systems and Nanostructures, 2010, Vol 42, Issue 5