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Issue 3, 2011
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Nitrogen-containing microporous carbon nanospheres with improved capacitive properties

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Abstract

We report the largely improved electrochemical capacitance of polypyrrole-derived microporous carbon nanospheres (MCNs, 80–100 nm in diameter) containing nitrogen functional groups. We have investigated the electrochemical properties of precursor polypyrrole nanospheres (PNs, with a high N/C ratio and low surface area) and as-derived carbon nanospheres (CNs, with a moderate N/C ratio and low surface area) prepared by carbonizing PNs at different temperatures, and MCNs (with a low N/C ratio and high surface area) obtained by chemical activation of CNs. The samples are thoroughly characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Raman spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), nitrogen sorption, elemental analysis, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). It is found that MCNs with a high surface area and N-doping species exhibit much better capacitive performance compared to the PNs and CNs, and commercial carbon blacks (XC-72 and BP2000) as well. The MCN sample gives a reversible specific capacitance of ∼240 F g−1 for 3000 cycles in aqueous media as a result of combined advantages of high electrochemical activity of doped heteroatoms (N and O) and accessible well-developed porosity, demonstrating the promising use in high-energy-density supercapacitors.

Graphical abstract: Nitrogen-containing microporous carbon nanospheres with improved capacitive properties

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Publication details

The article was received on 18 Jul 2010, accepted on 12 Oct 2010 and first published on 04 Nov 2010


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C0EE00277A
Citation: Energy Environ. Sci., 2011,4, 717-724
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    Nitrogen-containing microporous carbon nanospheres with improved capacitive properties

    F. Su, C. K. Poh, J. S. Chen, G. Xu, D. Wang, Q. Li, J. Lin and X. W. Lou, Energy Environ. Sci., 2011, 4, 717
    DOI: 10.1039/C0EE00277A

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