Hierarchical TiN nanoparticles-assembled nanopillars for flexible supercapacitors with high volumetric capacitance†
Titanium nitride (TiN) is an attractive electrode material in fast charging/discharging supercapacitors because of its excellent conductivity. However, the low capacitance and mechanical brittleness of TiN restricts its further application in flexible supercapacitors with high energy density. Thus, it is still a challenge to rationally design TiN electrodes with both high electrochemical and mechanical properties. Herein, the hierarchical TiN nanoparticles-assembled nanopillars (H-TiN NPs) array as binder free electrodes were obtained by nitriding of hierarchical titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanopillars, which was produced by a simple hydrothermal treatment of anodic TiO2 nanotubes (NTs) array in water. The porous TiN nanoparticles connected to each other to form ordered nanopillar arrays, effectively providing larger specific surface area and more active sites for charge storage. The H-TiN NPs delivered a high volumetric capacitance of 120 F cm−3 at 0.83 A cm−3, which is better than that of TiN NTs arrays (69 F cm−3 at 0.83 A cm−3). After assembling into all-solid-state devices, the H-TiN NPs based supercapacitors exhibited outstanding volumetric capacitance of 5.9 F cm−3 at 0.02 A cm−3 and a high energy density of 0.53 mW h cm−3. Our results reveal a new strategy to optimize the supercapacitive performance of metal nitrides.