This article investigates plasma treatment of vertically aligned multiwall carbon nanotube (CNT) films in different plasma environments for modification of surface chemistry and morphology. The surfaces of the CNTs were functionalized with a pulsed dc plasma treatment, where the power was directly applied to the nanotube film in low pressure argon/nitrogen and argon/hydrogen backgrounds. Optical emission spectroscopy was used to detect atomic and molecular excitations in the gas mixtures as well as in pure gases in the vicinity of the CNT films. In situx-ray photoelectron spectroscopy was performed on the treated samples to examine CNT surface chemistry after treatment. The analysis of CNT films after nitrogen and hydrogen treatment indicated formation of both C-N and C-H bonds, respectively. Correlations of the plasma characteristics to the surface chemistry and morphology of the CNT surfaces are discussed.
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