Multifunctional graphene sheet–nanoribbon hybrid aerogels†
Graphene sheets and nanoribbons are graphene-based nanostructures with different dimensions. Here, we show that these two materials can be combined to form highly porous, ultra-low density, compressible yet elastic aerogels, which can be used as efficient adsorbents and supercapacitor electrodes. The pore walls consist of stacked graphene sheets embedded with uniformly distributed thick nanoribbons unzipped from multi-walled carbon nanotubes as effective reinforcing skeletons. Owing to the large pore-size, robust and stable structure, and the nanoribbon-adhered pore walls, these hybrid aerogels show very large adsorption capacity for a series of organic solvents and oils (100 to 350 times of aerogel weight), and a specific capacitance of 256 F g−1 tested in a three-electrode electrochemical configuration, which is further improved to 537 F g−1 by depositing controlled loading pseudo-polymers into the aerogels. Our multifunctional graphene sheet–nanoribbon hybrid aerogels may find potential applications in many fields such as environmental cleanup and as flexible electrodes for energy storage systems such as supercapacitors and batteries.