Facile synthesis of nickel network supported three-dimensional graphene gel as a lightweight and binder-free electrode for high rate performance supercapacitor application
Here we report a simple strategy to prepare three-dimensional graphene gel coated on nickel foam for supercapacitor applications by a simple ‘dipping and drying’ process. The supercapacitors based on three-dimensional graphene gel (G-gel@NF-1) exhibited high rate capability of 152 F g−1 at 0.36 A g−1 and 107 F g−1 at 90.9 A g−1, good cycle stability with capacitance retention of 89% after 2000 cycles and low internal resistance (0.58 Ω). Furthermore, a flexible electrode (G-gel@NF-2) was obtained by etching most of the nickel foam but maintains the conductive backbone of the nickel foam, which greatly reduces the total mass of the electrode (can be reduced from 30 mg cm−2 to less than 5 mg cm−2), and can be compressed from a thickness of 1 mm to ∼30 μm. With the aid of a conductive network composed of a small amount of nickel, G-gel@NF-2 still has good performance in high rate capability and displays excellent flexible properties. The specific capacitance when the mass density of the electrode was only 5.4 mg cm−2 still reached ∼115 F g−1. This strategy can improve the rate capability performance, greatly reduce the mass of the electrode, and lower the fabrication cost of supercapacitors.