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Sparsely Pillared Graphene Materials for High Performance Supercapacitors: Improving Ion Transport and Storage Capacity

posted Jan 17, 2019, 9:49 AM by Daniel Lee   [ updated Feb 7, 2019, 3:57 AM ]
Sparsely Pillared Graphene Materials for High Performance Supercapacitors: Improving Ion Transport and Storage Capacity. Graphene-based materials are extensively studied as promising candidates for supercapacitors (SCs) owing to the high surface area, electrical conductivity, and mechanical flexibility of graphene. Reduced graphene oxide (RGO), a close graphene-like material studied for SCs, offers limited specific capacitances (100 F.g-1) as the reduced graphene sheets partially restack through π-π interactions. This paper presents pillared graphene materials designed to minimize such graphitic restacking by cross-linking the graphene sheets with a bi-functional pillar molecule. Solid-state NMR, X-ray diffraction, and electrochemical analyses reveal that the synthesized materials possess covalently cross-linked graphene galleries that offer additional sites for ion sorption in SCs. Indeed, high specific capacitances in SCs are observed for the graphene materials synthesized with an optimized number of pillars. Specifically, the straight-forward synthesis of a graphene hydrogel containing pillared structures and an inter-connected porous network delivered a material with gravimetric capacitances two times greater than that of RGO (200 F.g-1 vs. 107 F.g-1) and volumetric capacitances that are nearly four times larger (210 F.cm-3 vs. 54 F.cm-3). Additionally, despite the presence of pillars inside the graphene galleries, the optimized materials show efficient ion transport characteristics. This work therefore brings perspectives for the next generation of high-performance SCs.
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