In situ self-sacrificed template synthesis of vanadium nitride/nitrogen-doped graphene nanocomposites for electrochemical capacitors†
Vanadium nitride and graphene have been widely used as pseudo-capacitive and electric double-layer capacitor electrode materials for electrochemical capacitors, respectively. However, the poor cycling stability of vanadium nitride and the low capacitance of graphene impeded their practical applications. Herein, we demonstrated an in situ self-sacrificed template method for the synthesis of vanadium nitride/nitrogen-doped graphene (VN/NGr) nanocomposites by the pyrolysis of a mixture of dicyandiamide, glucose, and NH4VO3. Vanadium nitride nanoparticles of the size in the range of 2 to 7 nm were uniformly embedded into the nitrogen-doped graphene skeleton. Furthermore, the VN/NGr nanocomposites with a high specific surface area and pore volume showed a high specific capacitance of 255 F g−1 at 10 mV s−1, and an excellent cycling stability (94% capacitance retention after 2000 cycles). The excellent capacitive properties were ascribed to the excellent conductivity of nitrogen-doped graphene, high surface area, high pore volume, and the synergistic effect between vanadium nitride and nitrogen-doped graphene.