Facile fabrication of three-dimensional highly ordered structural polyaniline–graphene bulk hybrid materials for high performance supercapacitor electrodes†
A novel approach to constructing three-dimensional (3D) highly ordered structural polyaniline–graphene bulk hybrid materials was proposed for high performance supercapacitor electrodes, in which a functional molecule, sulfonated triazine (ST), was introduced and adsorbed on graphene sheets via hydrogen bonding and π–π stacking interactions. The aim of adding ST is to achieve better dispersion of graphene nanosheets in water, and subsequently induce heterogeneous nucleation of polyaniline (PANI) through electrostatic interactions. Thus, the PANI nanorods were impelled to grow vertically on both surfaces of the individual sulfonated triazine functional graphene nanosheets (STGNS) via in situ chemical oxidative polymerization of aniline in aqueous solution. The formation mechanism of well-controlled PANI nanorod array–sulfonated triazine functional graphene nanosheet (PANI–STGNS) hybrid materials was investigated in detail using a combination of UV–vis, FTIR, Raman spectroscopy and XRD. The optimized PANI–STGNS10 bulk hybrid material possesses a specific capacitance as high as 1225 F g−1 at 1 A g−1, together with outstanding rate capability and cycling stability, which are essential for its application in high performance supercapacitor electrodes.