Vertically aligned carbon nanotube (VA-CNT) arrays have been synthesized with lithium (Li) intercalation through an alcohol-catalyzed chemical vapor deposition technique by using a Li-containing catalyst. Scanning electron microscopy images display that synthesized carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are dense and vertically aligned. The effect of the Li-containing catalyst on VA-CNTs has been studied by using Raman spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS). XPS results show the change in binding energy of Li 1s and C 1s peaks, which indicates that Li is inserted in VA-CNTs during growth. Analysis of Raman spectra reveals that the G-band profile of CNTs synthesized with the Li-containing catalyst is shifted, suggesting an electronic interaction between Li and neighboring C atoms of the CNTs. The EELS spectra of the C K edge and Li K edge from CNTs also confirmed that Li is inserted into CNTs during synthesis. We have performed ab inito calculations based on density functional theory for a further understanding of the structural and electronic properties of Li intercalated CNTs, especially addressing the controversial charge-transfer state between Li and C. © 2012 American Chemical Society.