Hybrid ternary rice paper–manganese oxide–carbon nanotube nanocomposites for flexible supercapacitors†
Modern portable electronic devices create a strong demand for flexible energy storage devices. Paper based nanocomposites are attractive as sustainable materials for such applications. Here, we directly explored the hydroxyl chemistry of cellulose fibers to synthesize hybrid ternary nanocomposites, comprised of rice paper, single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) and manganese oxide nanoparticles. The functional groups on cellulose fibers can react with adsorbed permanganate ions, resulting in uniform deposition of manganese oxide nanoparticles. SWCNTs coated on top of manganese oxide nanoparticles form a highly conductive network connecting individual manganese oxide particles. By using the hybrid ternary composites as electrodes, the assembled two-electrode supercapacitors demonstrated high capacitance (260.2 F g−1), energy (9.0 W h kg−1), power (59.7 kW kg−1), and cycle stability (12% drop after 3000 cycles). In addition, the nanocomposites show good strength and excellent mechanical flexibility, and their capacitance shows negligible changes after bending more than 100 times. These findings suggest that opportunities exist to further explore the rich chemistry of cellulose fibers for innovative energy applications.