Carbon aerogels with improved flexibility by sphere templating†
Mechanically reversible compressible resorcinol–formaldehyde (RF) aerogels can be converted into mechanically reversible compressible carbon aerogels (CA) by carbonization in an inert atmosphere. By incorporation of polystyrene spheres into the RF gels as a sacrificial template, it is possible to create macropores with controlled size within the carbon framework during carbonization. The resulting templated carbon aerogel shows enhanced mechanical flexibility during compression compared to pristine samples. In addition, the presence of hierarchical porosity provides a porous architecture attractive for energy storage applications, such as supercapacitors.