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Rapid construction of 3D foam-like carbon nanoarchitectures via a simple photochemical strategy for capacitive deionization

Duan, Haiyan, Yan, Tingting, An, Zhongxun, Zhang, Jianping, Shi, Liyi, Zhang, Dengsong
RSC advances 2017 v.7 no.62 pp. 39372-39382
adsorption, ambient temperature, capacitance, carbon, deionization, electrochemistry, electrodes, ions, nanocomposites, photochemistry, porosity, sodium chloride, surface area, ultraviolet radiation
Herein, 3D foam-like carbon nanoarchitectures are originally and rapidly constructed via a simple photochemical strategy as high-performance electrodes for capacitive deionization. It is found that the nanocomposites are obtained in a few seconds via UV radiation at room temperature. To date, this type of easily available nanocomposite has rarely been explored as precursors to fabricate carbon materials. Furthermore, the precise control of pore size and the milder synthetic conditions can be simultaneously realized in comparison with the conventional strategies. The resulting materials feature 3D foam-like interconnected open pore structures, ultrathin pore walls, highly accessible surface area, tunable pore size and low inner resistance. The above characteristics significantly enhance the accessible adsorption surface and facilitate the transport of ions, rendering the obtained electrodes adequate in attaining the desired deionization performance. The electrochemical tests showed that the obtained materials presented higher capacitance, good stability and low inner resistance. The deionization measurements demonstrated a higher capacity of 20.9 mg g⁻¹ in a 1000 mg L⁻¹ NaCl solution at 1.4 V. Furthermore, it has been verified that the electrodes presented higher adsorption rate. The electrodes also presented excellent regeneration performance during the repeated adsorption–desorption experiments. In combination with the facile and efficient photochemical preparation process, this work may open up new probabilities for the widespread fabrication of high-quality 3D carbon nanoarchitectures for capacitive deionization and other energy-related applications.