Development of high power and energy density microsphere silicon carbide–MnO2 nanoneedles and thermally oxidized activated carbon asymmetric electrochemical supercapacitors†
In order to achieve high energy and power densities, a high-voltage asymmetric electrochemical supercapacitor has been developed, with activated carbon (AC) as the negative electrode and a silicon carbide–MnO2 nanoneedle (SiC–N-MnO2) composite as the positive electrode. A neutral aqueous Na2SO4 solution was used as the electrolyte. SiC–N-MnO2 was prepared by packing growing MnO2 nanoneedle crystal species in only one direction on the silicon carbide surface. AC was oxidized by thermal treatment in order to introduce oxygen-containing functional groups. Owing to the high capacitance and excellent rate performance of SiC–N-MnO2 and AC, as well as the synergistic effects of the two electrodes, a constructed asymmetric supercapacitor exhibited superior electrochemical performance. The optimized asymmetric supercapacitor could be cycled reversibly in the voltage range from 0 to 1.9 V, and it exhibited a specific capacitance of 59.9 F g−1 at a scan rate of 2 mV s−1 and excellent energy density and power density (30.06 W h kg−1 and 113.92 W kg−1, respectively) with a specific capacitance loss of less than 3.1% after 1000 charge–discharge cycles, indicating excellent electrochemical stability. These encouraging results show great potential in terms of developing energy storage devices with high energy and power densities for practical applications.