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Carbon foams from emulsion-templated reduced graphene oxide polymer composites: electrodes for supercapacitor devices

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Abstract

Amphiphilic reduced graphene oxide (rGO) is an efficient emulsifier for water-in-divinylbenzene (DVB) high internal phase emulsions. The polymerisation of the continuous DVB phase of the emulsion template and removal of water results in macroporous poly(divinylbenzene) (polyDVB). Subsequent pyrolysis of the poly(DVB) macroporous polymers yields ‘all-carbon’ foams containing micropores alongside emulsion templated-macropores, resulting in hierarchical porosity. The synthesis of carbon foams, or ‘carboHIPEs’, from poly(DVB) produced by polymerisation of rGO stabilised HIPEs provides both exceptionally high surface areas (up to 1820 m2 g−1) and excellent electrical conductivities (up to 285 S m−1), competing with the highest figures reported for carboHIPEs. The use of a 2D carbon emulsifier results in the elimination of post-carbonisation treatments to remove standard inorganic particulate emulsifiers, such as silica particles. It is demonstrated that rGO containing carboHIPEs are good candidates for supercapacitor electrodes where carboHIPEs derived from more conventional polymerised silica-stabilised HIPEs perform poorly. Supercapacitor devices featured a room-temperature ionic liquid electrolyte and electrodes derived from either rGO- or silica-containing poly(DVB)HIPEs demonstrated a maximum specific capacitance of 26 F g−1, an energy density of 5.2 W h kg−1 and a power density of 280 W kg−1.

Graphical abstract: Carbon foams from emulsion-templated reduced graphene oxide polymer composites: electrodes for supercapacitor devices

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Publication details

The article was received on 09 Nov 2017, accepted on 30 Dec 2017 and first published on 01 Jan 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7TA09893F
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018, Advance Article
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    Carbon foams from emulsion-templated reduced graphene oxide polymer composites: electrodes for supercapacitor devices

    R. T. Woodward, F. Markoulidis, F. De Luca, D. B. Anthony, D. Malko, T. O. McDonald, M. S. P. Shaffer and A. Bismarck, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7TA09893F

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