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Using inorganic dynamic porogens for preparing high surface area capacitive carbons with tailored micropores


A high performance capacitive carbon should simultaneously possess the characteristics of high surface area, high tap density, electrical conductivity and good wettability to electrolyte. However, these features are usually incompatible and hard to integrate into one carbon material. Herein, we take this challenge and report a new preparation of capacitive carbons that can meet the abovementioned characteristics using inorganic salt CuCl as dynamic porogens, and L-glutamic acid as carbon precursor. When the amount of CuCl2 was controlled for exact coordination of Cu2+ with NH2− and COO− of L-glutamic acid, Cu2+ was atomically dispersed by formation of Cu-N and COO-Cu. Upon pyrolysis to high temperature, Cu2+ was gradually reduced to Cu+, meanwhile the evaporation of CuCl at around 350 ℃ resulted in the formation of uniform ultramicropores. Further pyrolysis on the way to 900 ℃, the remained copper species were reduced to Cu which can then catalyze the graphitization of the carbon product. When the amount of CuCl2 exceeded the theoretical coordinated proportions, the molten salt effect of the aggregation of CuCl occurred over 450 ℃, resulting in the generation of supermicropores. Eventually, the obtained carbon shows exceptional high surface area of 2051 m2 g-1 and 3.22 wt% nitrogen content with a tap density of 0.35 g cm-3, which contributes a specific capacitance reaching 273 F g-1 at 0.5 A g-1 and charge transfer of 0.21 Ω with a cycle life over 20000 cycles as supercapacitor electrodes. Considering the recyclability of the used inorganic salt and compared to the conventional surfactant templating, our synthesis opens up a new energy-saving approach for preparing porous carbon with tailorable micropore sizes and high surface areas, even at temperatures as low as 350 ℃.

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Publication details

The article was received on 29 Oct 2018, accepted on 26 Nov 2018 and first published on 27 Nov 2018

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8TA10411E
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018, Accepted Manuscript
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    Using inorganic dynamic porogens for preparing high surface area capacitive carbons with tailored micropores

    X. Dong, W. Li, B. Jiang, Y. Zhou and A. Lu, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C8TA10411E

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