Multi-porous Co3O4 nanoflakes @ sponge-like few-layer partially reduced graphene oxide hybrids: towards highly stable asymmetric supercapacitors†
The controlled growth of metal oxide nanostructures within hierarchically porous conductive carbon-based frameworks is critically important to achieving high volumetric performance and appropriate channel size for energy storage applications. Herein, we grow cobalt oxide (Co3O4) nanoflakes, using a sequential-electrodeposition process, into spherically porous sponge-like few-layer partially reduced graphene oxide (SrGO) synthesized by template-directed ordered assembly. Maximum specific/volumetric capacitances of 1112 F gCo3O4−1 (at 3.3 A gCo3O4−1), 178 F cm−3 (at 2.6 A cm−2), and 406 F gtotal−1 (at 1 A gtotal−1) and sensible rate capability (80% retention by increasing the charge/discharge current from 1 A g−1 to 16 A g−1) are obtained for the Co3O4 nanoflakes@SrGO hybrid electrodes. Besides, an asymmetric supercapacitor is made with the Co3O4[63%]@SrGO[37%] hybrid and activated carbon as a positive and a negative electrode, respectively. Electrochemical results indicate an energy density of 23.3 W h kg−1 at a high power density of 2300 W kg−1 (discharge time of about 42 s) and 62% retention even at a remarkable power density of 36 600 W kg−1 (discharge time of 1.6 s). Moreover, it shows excellent cycling stability with no decay after 20 000 charge/discharge cycles. This performance is attributed to the unique pore-sizes for an ion to channel into the porous structures, conductivity, and mechanical stability of the SrGO framework, which makes it promising for next-generation supercapacitors.