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A novel synthesis of hierarchical porous carbons from interpenetrating polymer networks for high performance supercapacitor electrodes

Zhu, Dazhang, Wang, Yawei, Lu, Wenjing, Zhang, Hong, Song, Ziyang, Luo, Dong, Gan, Lihua, Liu, Mingxian, Sun, Dongmei
Carbon 2017 v.111 pp. 667-674
capacitance, carbon, carbonization, electrochemistry, electrodes, formaldehyde, hydrogen bonding, macropores, micropores, polyacrylic acid, pyrolysis, resorcinol, surface area, synergism
A novel strategy for the synthesis of hierarchical porous carbons (HPCs) from interpenetrating polymer networks (IPNs) for advanced supercapacitor electrodes was reported. There is hydrogen-bonding interaction between resorcinol/formaldehyde (R/F) resol and zinc tartrate, and they were introduced into the inter space of sodium polyacrylate (PAAS) to form IPNs. HPCs with foam-like macropores, uniform mesopores (∼3.8 nm), and abundant micropores were fabricated by direct carbonization of the IPNs. The macropores come from the pyrolysis of PAAS, and the uniform mesopores are ascribed to the synergistic effect of PAAS and zinc tartrate, while the decomposition of IPNs and zinc tartrate and the carbothermal reduction process generate abundant micropores. The resultant HPCs with a high specific surface area up to 1371 m2 g−1 as a supercapacitor electrode exhibit a high specific capacitance of 283 F g−1 at 1.0 A g−1. Besides, the electrode shows high rate capability in which a high current density of 20 A g−1 for charge/discharge operation is available (182 F g−1). Moreover, HPC-1.5 electrode shows excellent electrochemical stability up to 10000 cycles at 2.0 A g−1 with 95.86% retention. This finding highlights new opportunities for well-structured porous carbons derived from IPNs to achieve advanced supercapacitor devices.