All-lignin converted graphene quantum dot/graphene nanosheet hetero-junction for high-rate and boosted specific capacitance supercapacitors†
The high value-added conversion of biomass lignin has been paramount in the field of lignin utilization, especially for high performance energy conversion and storage devices. A majority of lignin-based supercapacitors generally exhibit inferior electrochemical performance with low capacitance and slow diffusion kinetics due to the poor interfacial compatibility, low conductivity, and uncontrollable morphology. Herein, we designed all-lignin converted graphene quantum dot and graphene sheet (GQD/Gr) hetero-junction for simultaneous fast charging and boosted specific capacitance. The conversion from lignin to GQDs and then refusion into graphene allows the in situ growth of GQDs on graphene, endowing good interfacial compatibility with the GQD/Gr hetero-junction. Furthermore, both GQDs and graphene sheets exhibit highly crystalline structure with obvious graphene lattice, giving GQDs/Gr good conductivity. GQDs play an additive role for avoiding stacks and agglomerates between graphene layers, which endow the assembled GQDs/Gr with massive electron capacitive sites and more hierarchical channels. Therefore, the GQD/Gr hetero-junction gives rise to a high specific capacitance of 404.6 F g−1 and a short charging time constant (τ0) of 0.3 s, 2.5 times higher and 7.5 times faster than that of the unmodified lignin electrode with 162 F g−1 and 2.3 s, respectively. This proposed strategy could offer the opportunity to unblock the critical roadblocks for a superior electrochemical performance lignin-based supercapacitor by composing a 0D/2D GQD/Gr hetero-junction system and also paves a bright way for the high-value industrial lignin conversion into cheap, scalable, and high-performance electrochemical energy devices.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Nanoscale Advances HOT Article Collection