Highly packed graphene–CNT films as electrodes for aqueous supercapacitors with high volumetric performance†
The increasing complexity of portable electronics demands the development of energy storage devices with higher volumetric energy and power densities. In this work we report a simple strategy for the preparation of partially reduced graphene oxide/carbon nanotube composites (prGO–CNT) as highly packed self-standing binder-free films suitable as electrodes for supercapacitors. These carbon-based films are easily obtained by the hydrothermal treatment of an aqueous suspension of graphene oxide and CNTs at 210 °C and then compacted under pressure. The prGO–CNT films, which had an apparent density as high as 1.5 g cm−3, were investigated as binder-free electrodes for aqueous supercapacitors using 6 M KOH solution as the electrolyte. The results show that the presence of merely 2 wt% of CNTs produces a significant enhancement of the capacitance retention at high current densities compared to the CNT-free samples, and this improvement is especially relevant in systems formed using electrodes with high mass loadings. Volumetric capacitance values of 250 F cm−3 at 1 A g−1 with outstanding capacitance retention (200 F cm−3 at 10 A g−1) were achieved using the prGO–CNT electrodes with an areal mass loading above 12 mg cm−2.
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