Nitrogen-enriched, double-shelled carbon/layered double hydroxide hollow microspheres for excellent electrochemical performance†
A unique, double-shelled, hollow, carbon-based composite with enriched nitrogen has been prepared through a facile and versatile synthetic strategy. The hierarchical composite employs the nitrogen-enriched carbon hollow sphere as an interior shell and intercrossed Ni/Al layered double hydroxide (LDH) nanosheets as an exterior shell. The obtained N–C@LDH hollow microspheres (HMS) have high nitrogen enrichment, large specific surface area (337 m2 g−1), and uniform and open mesoporous structure. Taking advantage of these characteristics, the composite exhibits obviously superior capacitive behavior, including high specific capacitance, excellent rate capability and good cycling stability, compared with nitrogen-free carbon@LDH composite and hollow LDH without carbon shell. The composite displays high specific capacitance of 1711.51 F g−1 at a current density of 1 A g−1. In particular, the high specific capacitance can be kept to 997.3 F g−1 at a high current density of 10 A g−1, which still retains 94.97% of the initial specific capacitance after 500 cycles at this high current density. This N-enriched, hollow carbon/LDH composite can be expected to be a promising electrode material for electrochemical capacitors due to its high electrochemical performance.